Where’s the heat? Try the Met Office

It is freezing and snowing again.  This is now the third spell of snow here this winter and it is barely the second week of January.  Once again, I am reminded of weather in the 1970s, when as a child I took notice of such things – eager for making snowmen and tobogganing.

Even Wikipedia, free from the warm-tinted rewritings of William Connolley, has started a page on the Winter of 2010-2011 in Great Britain and Ireland and, almost up-to-date, mentions the current spell of snow on 7th January. 

Christopher Booker says in the Telegraph, The Met Office fries while the rest of the world freezes.

Let us begin with last week’s astonishing claim that, far from failing to predict the coldest November and December since records began, the Met Office had secretly warned the Cabinet Office in October that Britain was facing an early and extremely cold winter. In what looked like a concerted effort at damage limitation, this was revealed by the BBC’s environmental correspondent, Roger Harrabin, a leading evangelist for man-made climate change. But the Met Office website – as reported by the blog Autonomous Mind – still contains a chart it published in October, predicting that UK temperatures between December and February would be up to 2C warmer than average.

So if the Met Office told the Government in October the opposite of what it told the public, it seems to be admitting that its information was false and misleading. But we have no evidence of what it did tell the Government other than its own latest account. And on the model of the famous Cretan Paradox, how can we now trust that statement?

A friend commented about the Met Office’s attempt to dig itself out of the hole last week:

If you believe that you’ll believe anything!

I am reminded of the story of the man who claimed to be able to guess the gender of an unborn child.  Mothers-to-be would visit him, and for a fee, be told the prediction.  But he kept a book, in which he wrote the reverse of the prediction he had given.  When irate mothers returned complaining of an inaccurate forecast, he simply said “Look I wrote it down, you must have mis-heard me!”

Commenting on the widely regurgitated Independent article from ten years ago (‘snowy winters in Britain will become a thing of the past’), Brendan O’Neill writing in Spiked, has had an excellent article The icy grip of the politics of fear widely quoted this week.  He observes:

‘The snow outside is what global warming looks like’, said one headline, in a newspaper which 10 years ago said that the lack of snow outside is what global warming looks like. A commentator said that anyone who says ‘what happened to global warming?’ is an ‘idiot’ because nobody ever claimed that global warming would ‘make Britain hotter in the long run’. (Er, yes they did.) Apparently the reason people don’t understand the (new) global-warming-causes-snow thesis is because they are ‘simple, earthy creatures, governed by the senses’: ‘What we see and taste and feel overrides analysis. The cold has reason in a deathly grip.’

This reveals the stinging snobbery at the heart of the politics of global warming.

Of course the cold in December was far from being confined to Britain (despite what Julia Slingo would have liked us to believe).  Joe D’Aleo, over at Icecap has a series of three articles under the banner “A December to Remember” that summarises the shivering and other mayhem in Europe and Asia, the United States and the Southern Hemisphere.

As for this being Climate Disruption, well they really shouldn’t confuse climate and weather 😉

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3 Responses to Where’s the heat? Try the Met Office

  1. Pascvaks says:

    When someone argues that “everything and anything they say proves their point” simply STOP, LOOK DOWN, and OBSERVE who’s leg they are pulling and in which of your pockets they have their hand(s).

  2. M White says:

    A 2011 prediction from the MetOffice


    “Although La Niña has stabilised, it is still expected to affect global temperature through the coming year. This effect is small compared to the total accrued global warming to date, but it does mean that 2011 is unlikely to be a record year according to the Met Office prediction based on the three main datasets. Nevertheless an anomaly of 0.44 °C is still likely — with the range very likely to be between 0.28 °C and 0.60 °C. The middle of this range would place 2011 among the top 10 warmest years on the record.”

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