The BBC may drop the Met Office for forecasts

From the London Times, signs that the Met Office might need a refresher course in basic forecasting skills and bonuses revoked. While I’m often critical of NOAA’s climate issues, the forecasts from NOAA put The Met Office to shame in terms of accuracy and detail. And, NOAA staffers don’t get bonuses, period.

http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/met_office_forecast_computer-520.jpg?w=260&h=260

Excerpts from the Times article by Steven Swinford

BUFFETED by complaints about its inaccurate weather forecasts, the Met Office now faces being dumped by the BBC after almost 90 years.

The Met Office contract with the BBC expires in April and the broadcaster has begun talks with Metra, the national forecaster for New Zealand, as a possible alternative.

The BBC put the contract out to tender to ensure “best value for money”, but its timing coincides with a storm over the Met Office’s accuracy.

Last July the state-owned forecaster’s predictions for a “barbecue summer” turned into a washout. And its forecast for a mild winter attracted derision when temperatures recently plunged as low as -22C.

Last week the Met Office failed to predict heavy snowfall in the southeast that brought traffic to a standstill. This weekend a YouGov poll for The Sunday Times reveals that 74% of people believe its forecasts are generally inaccurate.

By contrast, many commercial rivals got their predictions for winter right. They benefit from weather forecasts produced by a panel of six different data providers, including the Met Office.

Despite criticism, staff at the Met Office are still in line to share a bonus pot of more than £1m. Seasonal forecasts, such as the one made in September, are not included in its performance targets.

John Hirst, the chief executive of the Met Office, insisted last week that recent forecasts had been “very good” and blamed the public for not heeding snow warnings. He received a bonus of almost £40,000 in 2008-09.

Metra already produces graphics for the BBC, including the 3-D weather map that made some viewers feel sick when it was introduced in 2005. Weather Commerce, Metra’s UK subsidiary, has already usurped the Met Office in supplying forecasts to Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose.

The Met Office was bullish, though, saying: “We have always been in the strongest position to provide the BBC with accurate and detailed weather forecasts and warnings for the UK.”

h/t to many WUWT readers

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167 thoughts on “The BBC may drop the Met Office for forecasts

  1. Late fall last year the Japan Meteorological Agency forecast that the coming winter would be a warmer one, but in reality the whole country has been shivering since late December. Probably we too need to replace the personnel as well as their computer?

  2. I vote for Piers Corbyn. WeatherAction.com He’s on the skeptics side! And competitive with Joe Bastardi on a personality (and accuracy?) basis. And, ENGLISH!- born Chippenham Wiltshire, 10 March 1947

  3. tokyoboy
    You were ok the first time. Mirriam-Webster shows both ‘forecast’ and ‘forecasted.’ Take your pick.

  4. “The Met Office was bullish, though, saying: “We have always been in the strongest position to provide the BBC with accurate and detailed weather forecasts and warnings for the UK.”

    This could prove to be another lousy forecast.

  5. Is Metra doing better than Corbyn?

    By the way, Tokyoboy, “forecast” used in the past tense was OK.

  6. To read the coverage from the BBC, the problems the Met faces are just with its long-range forecasts.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8462890.stm

    Come on. Does anyone really believe anybody’s long-range forecasts? Seriously, I put them in the same category as that of a slick psychic. The Met has other problems. When they miss on calling a major snow event till the snow is practically falling, it’s hard to remain credible.

  7. 90 yrs, eh? When you lash yourself to the deck of an agenda, and it backfires, you might be going down with the ship.
    Hate to lose storied institutions, but the MET’s track record of the last 2 years is really horrid.
    US institutions should be paying attention. Get your act together before political wind changes, if you catch my drift. Try some spring cleaning.
    US forecast modles are suffering from a unique sandbagging tact the last year.
    People are noticing.

  8. While I don’t have much sympathy for the Met Office, whose over dependence on the use of computer modelling appears to have contributed to their demise, it would be ironic if the BBC (who are the chief propogandists for the unproven CO2 thesis) decided to drop them. I am sure that the Met Office has felt under considerable pressure lately and hopefully the debate they are having is not just on the symptoms of their devotion to AGW and dubious modelling, but extends to the CO2 thesis itself. To me that is at the root of the problem. See http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/jim-dale-why-the-met-office-got-it-wrong-ndash-again-1863054.html (and most of the comments – I should say that I am Lapogus) for a perspective on their problems, and http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8462890.stm for an article on this internal debate.

  9. juanslayton (20:01:32) :

    “tokyoboy
    You were ok the first time. Mirriam-Webster shows both ‘forecast’ and ‘forecasted.’ Take your pick.”

    Oh, really? Thanks my dear mentor!

  10. I haven’t relied on the Met Office / BBC weather forecasts for years. There are numerous other forecasting organisations that offer their prognostications free of charge over this wonderful interwebby thing.

    My current favourite is netweather.tv. I was initially put off by the thought that “tv” might stand for transvestite and the forecasts might involve burly lorry drivers in skimpy lace claiming to be called Alice. Fortunately there is not an inch of flimsy to be seen, just reasonably accurate forecasts that allow me to decide whether or not to venture out of FatBigot Towers.

  11. We have finally reached the point that the global warmers demand that the voting public ignore the weeks, months and years of snow and cold outside of their windows and doors. The denialist strategy only works so long, then people get sick of it. Can anyone imagine the global warming lie continuing into next year? I can’t. The only drum beaters still remaining will be the bottom feeders who can’t afford to let the scheme go.

  12. Is Danny “Lethal Weapon” Glover the first to claim Global Warming caused the Haiti earthquake?

    He has a new movie in production….
    Lethan weapon of Mass Destruction: CO2
    and the sequel….
    Lethan Weapon of Mass Destruction: CH4

  13. I believe the Farmer’s Almanac uses astrology for it’s long range forecasts, you know sun,moon and large planets. ;-)
    Maybe we need to reexamine a 6,000 year old science that was based on observations of facts rather then use of computer programs based on wishful thinking.
    Don’t know for sure but sometimes when something works there might be a reason.

    Just the ruminations of an old country farmer…

  14. The Met Office’s reaction to charges off botched forecasts? From http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8462890.stm
    > Professor Chris Folland from the Met Office said a re-analysis
    > of weather science might even show that the actual temperature
    > measurements have under-recorded recent warming – making
    > the Met Office forecast even more accurate than it appears.

    Just like the IPCC “re-analysis” of its 1990 graph, which had shown the MWP, no doubt.

  15. I once had to fire an entire department. It was like unblocking a toilet, only bigger.

    Sometimes it’s just time for a change

    Let’s face it, who would miss them anyway ?? Answers on a postage stamp please.

  16. I, too, vote for Piers Corbyn. He is absolutely the best candidate. Unfortunately, Piers is not in the pro-AGW camp so perhaps he has the wrong politics for the BBC warming enthusiasts. Anyone care to bet the BBC will go back to The Met? I think they will because The Met embraces AGW and the BBC will find it far more important to contract someone with the same religious beliefs rather than weather forecasting accuracy.

  17. And because it’s Sunday, today’s weather forecast is from Weather Underground. Our accuracy rating for them is an 83, which is better than most of the others so they’ll continue on Sundays for the next month. On Wednesday we’ll reveal a new forecast source.

  18. The MET lose the deal? Not a chance but the timing gives the BBC a great way of negotiating in order to get the price down. In the end the MET will roll on with its partner in AGW – the BBC only the ticket price will be coach.

  19. By Roger Harrabin.

    The Met Office has now admitted to BBC News that its annual global mean forecast predicted temperatures higher than actual temperatures for nine years out of the last 10.

    Professor Chris Folland from the Met Office said a re-analysis of weather science might even show that the actual temperature measurements have under-recorded recent warming – making the Met Office forecast even more accurate than it appears.

    So over forcasted warming is transformed by re-analysis to under-recorded recent warming making the Met Office forecast even more accurate.

    Thank you Sir Humphrey.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8462890.stm

  20. Recently the Met Office took it upon themselves to get 1700 scientists to sign a petition supporting the UEA/CRU. As a publicly funded organisation I wondered how they had found the budget/staff resources to carry out this, clearly out of remit, activity. So I wrote to them asking who had authorised the spend and how much it had cost in terms of wo/man hours. This is the response:

    “1. Any documentation related to the approval for the spend of public funds in the pursuit of signatures to support the Met Office;
    No documentation was produced relating to the approval for the spend of public funds in the pursuit of signatures.
    It should be noted that the signatures referred to above were collected on behalf of the UK Science Community to show support for the statement below, not in support of the Met Office.
    We, members of the UK science community, have the utmost confidence in the observational evidence for global warming and the scientific basis for concluding that it is due primarily to human activities. The evidence and the science are deep and extensive. They come from decades of painstaking and meticulous research, by many thousands of scientists across the world who adhere to the highest levels of professional integrity. That research has been subject to peer review and publication, providing traceability of the evidence and support for the scientific method.
    The science of climate change draws on fundamental research from an increasing number of disciplines, many of which are represented here. As professional scientists, from students to senior professors, we uphold the findings of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, which concludes that ‘Warming of the climate system is unequivocal’ and that ‘Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations’.
    2. The budget for the pursuit of the signatures and the actual spend made by the Met Office in terms of wo/man hours and any other expenses made in this exercise.
    It is estimated that over the four to five days taken to collect signatures and produce the statement that a total of around 30-35 hours of staff time – spread across several staff – were used.
    There was no budget set for this activity. There was no overtime paid, the time committed was done so alongside the normal roles of the staff involved. There were no other expenses occurred in this exercise.
    I hope this answers your enquiry.”

    You will note their robust defence of an unaccused “scientific community”, and what appears to be an obsession with proving global warming is real and anthropogenic. I noted the other day that the Guardian, right there with the BBC on AGW is now using Accuweather. It is a shame that the, once worldwide respected, Met Office has now become little more than a propogandist for AGW. And if they have the nerve to tell me that 2009 was warmer than 1976 I will explode!


  21. p.g.sharrow “PG” (21:24:26) :
    I believe the Farmer’s Almanac uses astrology for it’s long range forecasts, you know sun,moon and large planets. ;-)

    As told by TOFA themselves (excerpt) it doesn’t seem quite so … medieval:

    Many readers ask how we predict the weather at The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

    We derive our weather forecasts from a secret formula that was devised by the founder of this Almanac, Robert B. Thomas, in 1792. Thomas believed that weather on Earth was influenced by sunspots, which are magnetic storms on the surface of the Sun. Notes about that formula are locked in a black box in our offices in Dublin, New Hampshire. (Yes, that’s a photo of the unassuming black box below.)

    Over the years, we have refined and enhanced that formula with state-of-the-art technology and modern scientific calculations.

    We employ three scientific disciplines to make our long-range predictions: solar science, the study of sunspots and other solar activity; climatology, the study of prevailing weather patterns; and meteorology, the study of the atmosphere.

    We predict weather trends and events by comparing solar patterns and historical weather conditions with current solar activity.

    Our forecasts emphasize temperature and precipitation deviations from averages, or normals. These are based on 30-year statistical averages prepared by government meteorological agencies and updated every ten years. The most recent tabulations span the period 1971 through 2000.

  22. Despite criticism, staff at the Met Office are still in line to share a bonus pot of more than £1m.

    Government can do this. They can give themselves raises even with poor performance. Everyone else has to live in the real world.

  23. Corbyn says he’s right 85% of the time (exactly how?).

    Of course BBC can use Corbyn instead. :) Anyway BBC can’t get stuck in global warming belief without scientific base (only fraud/IPCC/Cliamtegate) during a little ice age if they want to survive.

    (Btw, are predictions of the sun more than 27 days into the future good?)

  24. Bonuses?

    ???????????????????

    Is the Met connected with AIG? Are they Wall Street traders? Used car salesmen? Since when do public employees get “performance” bonuses? For what?

    GB is a weird country, but really?

    For a long time I have rejected the propaganda gloss that the political fight is between Party A and Party B. I think the real battle is and has been between public employees and everybody else. Privatize the BBC, the Met, NOAA, NASA, every University, every agency, the whole shebang.

    Quis custodiat custodium?

  25. Yes, but all this chat about Met Office forecasting accuracy is just a side-issue. The important thing is how accurate they were with the bonuses forecast.

  26. How can any real scientist, let alone a climatologist (Folland) persist in a view that the model is correct and that the observations must therefore be in error ???

  27. On Mombiot’s blog. The comments are hilarious 99 to 1 against. I admire Monbiot for hacking it though….

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/jan/06/cold-snap-climate-sceptics

    This is one of the funniest ones:

    I was wondering when the climate change lobby was going to get its mitts off and explain away the cold weather.

    I have nothing to say other than that I keep warm by tearing up climate change books and articles and stuffing them under my jumper.

    I knew they must be good for something and it works for me.

  28. Seriously though I would say Monbiot has lost all credibility and it seems he’s been taken as a joke by most of the commenters. What even funnier though, he apparently does not realize it!

  29. Last one you can snip if you want but it is so funny:
    I greatly admire Mr Monbiot’s courage, lowering his jewels so squarely on the chopping block of this whole affair. Time will vindicate or emasculate him but I suspect history will be not judge him kindly in either event.

  30. Prof Mobbs: “”All models have biases and these are very small. It may be, as the Met Office suggests, that the observations are wrong, not the model.”

    I observed a foot of snow outside my door for the past two weeks. I observed p***ing down rain for most of the “barbecue” summer, which they are now telling me is going to be the hottest on record, once they’ve finished “adjusting” the data.

    The Met Office has been infiltrated by the Greens and is little more than a propaganda machine for the AGW movement, scarcely interested in forecasting the weather, and only able to get it right, in the short term, i.e when the weather can be seen on the West Coast of Ireland the Met Office can tell us with 65% accuracy what it will be in the UK on the following day.

  31. I’ve never before read any of Monbiot’s blogs however, I read some of the posts at the link posted by VG. Crickey, Is this man for real?

    “The ghost of Big Jim Cooley (00:29:46) :”

    The finger pointing continues and computer models are biased. LOL It really cannot get any better than this, can it?

  32. O/T, but related.

    “The World has been misled over Himalayan glacier meltdown. A WARNING that climate change will melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 is likely to be retracted after a series of scientific blunders by the United Nations body that issued it.

    Two years ago the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a benchmark report that was claimed to incorporate the latest and most detailed research into the impact of global warming. A central claim was the world’s glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could vanish by 2035.

    In the past few days the scientists behind the warning have admitted that it was based on a news story in the New Scientist, a popular science journal, published eight years before the IPCC’s 2007 report.”

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6991177.ece

    More evidence that the MSM is slowly realising how badly they have been duped.

  33. The Met Office, like the BBC are public-funded, so there’ll be a lot of “singing from the same hymnsheet”. Their governmental masters probably won’t take kindly to the BBC dropping the Met Office, so I’ve no doubt something will be cobbled together, after all they will want to present a united front in respect of their doom-ridden climate change prophecies, won’t they?

  34. As a government employee myself, I wouldn’t get too exercised about the million pound bonuses. Most of it will be going in pay outs of about £150 to staff on salaries not greatly higher than the minimum wage.

    On another topic, our friend Mr Pachauri won’t enjoy this prominent story in the Sunday Telegraph today http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7005963/Taxpayers-millions-paid-to-Indian-institute-run-by-UN-climate-chief.html

  35. Small wonder they don’t get it right beyond a few days, and that seasonal and climate predictions are rubbish.

    Back in the 60’s, Edward Lorenz showed that a system like climate, which is driven by deterministic chaos, accurate long-term forecasting is impossible. Doesn’t matter how much money is spent on a big computer, or how good the understanding of the individual climate mechanisms, climate sensitivity to initial condition will confound the result. The way forward is to look at quasi-cyclical events, such as the sun cycle, AO e.t.c, which at least give a general idea of what is to come.

    Corbin and Bastardi seem to better than the Met does by employing this approach.

  36. I would hope not only the BBC dump them but also ITV/Channel 4 as well.

    There is no competition. Therein lies the problem.

  37. I watched a nice little pop science programme about chaos and order. It seemed to say that simple rules can behave chaotically, and that chaos can create patterns and order, but, those patterns are not predictable.

    Intuitively, this is a reason I’ve been sceptical of AGW models, but I wonder if anyone could comment on if this is right or wrong headed thinking:

    AGW activists claim that whilst the weather is chaotic, the science can figure out the boundary conditions of the climate. They also claim that whilst the climate has dealt with high levels of CO2 in the past, CO2 is now rising in an unprecedented way.
    OK, I can accept that the climate has patterns (order out of chaos), but we only know what those patterns are from observing history (we know about the LIA, MWP, and so on (quibble over their extent of course)).
    I say “only from history” because whilst patterns do arise out of chaos, like sand blowing in the wind forms sand dunes, those patterns are not predictable, they are merely obvious once we see them. Any new pattern is not predictable. So, AGW activists claim that the current CO2 forcing has been unprecedented and far faster blah blah. In effect they are saying that something new is happening. So how can they predict the new pattern that will arise out of chaos forced in a different way?

  38. The Met office short range forecast is pretty accurate, but not only is their long range estimate poor I don’t think their hurricane forecasting is as good as the USA based ones.

    Andy

  39. Commercial customers actually care about forecast accuracy and value for money – hence it seems the Met Service has already lost them.

    The obvious solution is for the government to sell the Met Service to Metra – saving heaps of money for the UK taxpayer and greatly improving forecasting services at the same time.

    And as a bonus we’ll all get some relief from a major source of AGW alarmism.


  40. John Wright (20:05:54) :

    Is Metra doing better than Corbyn?

    By the way, Tokyoboy, “forecast” used in the past tense was OK.

    The MET office does a lot of that.

    Another vote for Corbyn here. He’s on the warpath because the BBC promised to revisit his winter prediction if it was right and the MET was wrong. It was, they were, and the beeb hasn’t.

  41. A long range forecaster here in Australia, by name Indigo Jones, was much heeded by the farming community during the 1930-40s. He forecast the big droughts of 1980-82 and the centenary drought 2000-2007. He couldn’t say how long each would run for but he did say they would both be very severe.

    He had no knowledge of GW, A or nay, nor did he have access to GISStemps and satellites. His main forecasting tool was sun cycles and historical data. The recent drought in SE Australia, still going in some places, has been claimed by the PM and warmers as proof of AGW. Strange that a man could predict it 60 years ago not knowing the world was at a tipping point etc etc.

  42. A while ago here I suggested that the UK government put the forecasting job out for bids as a way to get the Met Office to get serious. They haven’t, but at least we now know the BBC reads WUWT. Happy to have helped, Beeb.

  43. Wishful thinking. The BBC is just going through the motions of a competitive tender.

    The top man at the Met Office was interviewed by the BBC and blandly said it was more difficult to predict short term than 50+ years into the future.
    The BBC interviewer of course nodded sagely without thinking about how this preposterous claim could be tested.
    The short term solution it seems is to say – ‘well it might snow but there is a 40% chance it won’t.’ Can anybody tell me how this sort of non-forecast can help any of us?

    The BBC is inhabited by left wing thickos. They want the met office to tell them what they want to be told. They want to be confirmed in their prejudice.

  44. Let’s be fair, the MET Office do a reasonable job in forecasting weather for up to five days, which is their main purpose.

    What’s turning them into a joke is their obsession with seasonal forecasts, which always sound more like a mantra for AGW:

    Global Warming, global warming!
    We’re in for a record hot summer.
    We’re in for a record mild winter.

    As for the possibility of the BBC cutting their link with the MET Office –
    NO CHANCE!
    That’s my forecast for 2010.

  45. That is wrong thing to do. No private or alternative supplier has resources of Met office.
    What is required is complete clean up of ‘politicos’ running it, true expertise allowed to work without interference, if need be brought in from outside. Then Met office would be what it claims to be, but sadly it is not.

  46. “geronimo (22:14:46) :
    [...]
    I noted the other day that the Guardian, right there with the BBC on AGW is now using Accuweather.”

    The AGW cultists will not even see this as bigotry. After all, it’s only a weather forecast, short term in nature. At the same time, the high priests at the Met will have more time to prove the long term meltdown. It’s like attacking people for wearing furs while wearing leather boots yourself.

    Leftists can maintain contradictory attitudes for quite a while until it makes them crack and they defect to the sceptics camp only to be replaced by younger leftists. Hansen is quite resilient in this respect but it’s obvious that it’s taking its toll on him. Same for Lovelock. You can literally watch them go insane. Or take Mojib Latif: He predicts something very similar to Joe D’Aleo but as soon as a newspaper quotes him he has to explain that he’s been misinterpreted.

    They all started out sane and look what became of them. Look at what’s left of the BBC.

  47. Holy cow !

    I just realized that if the Met loses the BBC contract, then James Cameron will be able to rent their big zillion £ superdupercomputer and we’ll have Avatar 2 in the theatres in three weeks.

    So what if it browns out half of Devon and the Avatar characters have one-dimensional personalities? You gotta make sacrifices to achieve greatness.

    Reply: Weta studios probably already has them beat, with double the number of processors, 8 times the RAM, and 6 times the storage space as the initial Met office installation. ~ ctm

  48. Firstly, come on guys, the “Met” is short for Metropolitan Police, in London. The “Met Office” is shor for the Meterological Office! Just don’t want you guys to fall prey to some little nerd who wants to belittle your argument by being pickie!

    Oh & as for the 5 day Met Office forecasts, yes they aren’t bad, but if you’re a pickie little nerd like me, you’ll notice that as they progress, they often change ever so slightly as what happened turns into what’s happening! Perhaps it’s me.

    Peirs Corbyn has my vote & has done so for some time. However as others have said, this may be window dressing & going thro’ the motions only just to seem to be doing something, in practice it probably won’t happen as the political ramifications are enormous, opening things up wider than would be liked! We’ll see.

  49. What a surprise from the Beeb. Here is a little something for those who hold a religious belief in super computer models.

    25 September 2008
    The Met Office forecast for the coming winter suggests it is, once again, likely to be milder than average. It is also likely that the coming winter will be drier than last year.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2008/pr20080925.html

    25 Feb 2009
    Coldest winter for a decade – Met Office

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2009/pr20090225.html

    —–

    30 April 2009
    The coming summer is ‘odds on for a barbecue summer‘, according to long-range forecasts

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2009/pr20090430.html

    Met Office cools summer forecast

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8173533.stm

    —-

    2009
    Met office forecast a mild to average winter

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/science/creating/monthsahead/seasonal/2009/winter.html

    Met Office – 5 January 2010
    “The current cold weather started in mid December and it has been the most prolonged spell of freezing conditions across the UK since December 1981.”

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2010/pr20100105.html

    “Britain’s freezing weather: worst snow for 50 years

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/6939124/Britains-freezing-weather-worst-snow-for-50-years-paralyses-transport-networks.html

    ——

    10 December 2009
    Climate could warm to record levels in 2010

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2009/pr20091210b.html

    The Met Office predicted the near opposite to what occurred for the wet summers 2007, 2008, and 2009, the icy snowy winter 08/9, and world temperature decline over recent years.

  50. vukcevic (03:08:44) :

    That is wrong thing to do. No private or alternative supplier has resources of Met office. etc.

    It is not having the resources, yes, it is what you do with them that counts.

    Working in a very “get it done” environment with many different collaborations is interesting. You get to compare how different organisations work. Anything linked with “the state” is, in my experience, not efficient. In the name of efficiency, work has become target driven, but the targets are wrong, and have become an end in themselves rather than a means to an end. The term “value added” has been introduced, without considering what value (if any) is added or at what cost. I despair.

    The second part of your comment, I also agree with – completely.

  51. One aspect that I have not seen mentioned. I am fairly sure that in past years, the UK Met. Office has waited until it has all the data from the previous year, before making a forecast for the coming year. Typically, the December data comes by the third week in January, so it is towards the end of January that the next year’s forecast is made.

    In 2009/10 things were different. The forecast for 2010, predicting a warm year, was made to coincide with the Copenhagen Conference. At the time the forecast was made, far from not having the December data, the UK Met. Office did not even have the November data.

    Maybe I am biased, but to me this is the UK Met. Office being completely unscientific. The timing of the 2010 forecast was made to have maximum impact on Copenhagen, and seems to have been done for completely political, not scientific, reasons.

  52. If the BBC want value for money and accuracy then why do they need to go to New Zealand to get it? Maybe it iz becoz they iz likewize AGW biazed?

    As a TV licence payer I demand that WeatherAction and Piers Corbyn are given the contract because the accuracy of their predictions makes them better value for money than the Met Office by far. Oh wait, I forgot about the AGW biasssssss

  53. “vjones (04:05:12) :

    Anything linked with “the state” is, in my experience, not efficient.”

    I totally agree. In my experience, and I won’t mention organisations in this post (My name is posted freely here, but in this post I will limit the names of the Orgs) however, I worked for a couple of “crown” entities that were just comical, I really mean comical.

  54. With serious doubts being raised about the activities of the CRU, post climategate, along with the UK Met Office in light of their persistent poor record in forecasting, together with the Hockey Team’s apparent manipulation of climate data, one simply wonders when these various groups realised their doom laden prophecies were wrong. It looks as if it was a long time ago. It looks as though there was a concerted effort to fiddle the data over a considerable period leading to questions of motive. Can it be only to protect the funding these organisations and individuals receive?

    As failed prophets throughout history have found: if your prophecies fail to materialise, you’re in deep trouble. It appears that the Warm Front discovered years ago that the globe just wasn’t going to cooperate as far as their predictions were concerned so they attempted to pull off the most expensive scam ever. They told us it was warmer than it really was; they continued to warn us that temperatures would go on rising; they admonished us that it was our fault. All these are proving incorrect. Can anyone explain why anybody is still listening to them?

  55. The troubles of the MET office are common to a lot of the UK Govt institutions, after 12 years of one party in power they have ceased to be independent and are now in the pockets of NU Labour. Too many political appointments by a party more interested in managing the press than actually delivering on policy statements. A good clearout is in order but in the long term the replacements will also end in the same state unless replaced themselves. A good case for a Prime Minister only allowed 2 terms, both Tony Bliar and Margaret Thatcher had power go to their heads after the 8th year.

  56. JohnG (04:29:05) :

    As failed prophets throughout history have found: if your prophecies fail to materialise, you’re in deep trouble. It appears that the Warm Front discovered years ago that the globe just wasn’t going to cooperate as far as their predictions were concerned so they attempted to pull off the most expensive scam ever. They told us it was warmer than it really was; they continued to warn us that temperatures would go on rising; they admonished us that it was our fault. All these are proving incorrect. Can anyone explain why anybody is still listening to them?

    I have recently been wondering who they are exactly. Who is capable of coordinating a global scam of this magnitude?  And how is it possible that so many bright people could have been so completely taken in?  This is a question that history, at some point, will demand an answer.  Who is running the AGW political campaign?

  57. Joe Bastardi at Accuweather nailed the “Year without a summer” last year. He nailed the “Once in a generation cold snap” this last month. And now he is saying that February could be the “Top 10-15 coldest”.

    You go Joe!

  58. They have simply drunk too much of the kool-aid to be rational about weather forecasting anymore. Good riddence….

  59. johnh (04:43:26) :

    Too many political appointments by a party more interested in managing the press than actually delivering on policy statements.

    While not completely true, don’t they largely own the press (e.g. the BBC) already?

    Mike Ramsey

  60. Had the Met Office not pubished the mythological warm winter forecast many animals, especially wildlife and birds could have been saved. There are countless organizations that do so much work to protect wildlife, providing protection and food when weather turns cold, but the promise of a mild winter negated any concern.

    Also, the cold spell happened over night and individuals and organizations were not prepared for the onslaught of continous freezing conditions. However, if the main stream media had presented Piers Corbyn’s alternative forecast, it in itself would have triggered better preparedness for a freezing spell. As we know his record is about 85% correct. .

    In fact he is warning of another long freezing spell beginning the first week in February. So people should at least make the effort to warn people and councils to be prepared for another onslaught. Also Joe Bastardi (accuweather) is similarly indicating a return to freezing conditions in the coming weeks. The Met Office is still indicating the warmest winter scenario on their website, so treat with caution.

  61. What on earth could be wrong with the MET forecasts? It has been the warmest winter on record. For instance only 10 years ago when we used to get hot summers, the sun would scorch the grass yellow in Hyde Park. This winter the sun bleached the whole nation white – such is the advanced stage of global warming 10 years hence

  62. They could lease thier computor to some rogue Muslim state and pay Joe Bastardi for his reports. Joe isn’t burdened with a monster overhead and beureaucratic machine.
    I can read current temperatures with my finger to the wind as rapidly as the Met forcasts.

  63. I’ve noticed the same forecasting problems from Environment Canada. In my opinion, the commercial sources like weather.com and accuweather seem to be able to provide more reliable forecasts. I can’t understand why – aren’t they all using the same data?

  64. A comment from the Independent says it all:

    “The met Office is using its forecasts to promote Global warming its as simple as that. Its wrong about Global warming so its forecasts will be wrong.”

    ————–

    It amazes me that there aren’t more sceptics within the Met Office. I mean if their computer models fail so badly for forecasts a few months away what faith should they put on GCM forecasts for 2050.

  65. Most here keep sayin things like
    photon without a Higgs (23:00:36) :
    Governments should be hiring people like Piers Corbyn and Joe Bastardi, shouldn’t they?

    Can someone point me to past forecasts of theses people compared to actuality?
    I have seeked but cannot find!

  66. @ Walter Dnes (21:25:13) :

    The Met Office’s reaction to charges off botched forecasts? From http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8462890.stm
    > Professor Chris Folland from the Met Office said a re-analysis
    > of weather science might even show that the actual temperature
    > measurements have under-recorded recent warming – making
    > the Met Office forecast even more accurate than it appears.

    Just like the IPCC “re-analysis” of its 1990 graph, which had shown the MWP, no doubt.

    And Chris Folland is a prominent figure in the Climategate emails. I really don’t think we can trust a word he says.

  67. @Nemesis

    Yes. I enjoyed it, as it seemed nicely done. I got the impression along the lines, “yes chaos creates patterns/order”, and “but no we can’t predict what those patterns will be, only look at what patters chaos has already produced”.

    So in a way, if the climate is truly being forced by CO2 in a way that it never has been forced before, then there’s no way to know what it will do.

    That’s the message I got on the relationship between chaos and order.

  68. What do you think of this article in The Sunday Times today Sunday “World misled over Himalayan glacier meltdown”. Read it in the paper and found it on the net: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6991177.ece
    For a layman this would have been unbelieveable until I started reading blogs such as WUWT.
    “A WARNING that climate change will melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 is likely to be retracted after a series of scientific blunders by the United Nations body that issued it.

    Two years ago the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a benchmark report that was claimed to incorporate the latest and most detailed research into the impact of global warming. A central claim was the world’s glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could vanish by 2035.

    In the past few days the scientists behind the warning have admitted that it was based on a news story in the New Scientist, a popular science journal, published eight years before the IPCC’s 2007 report.

    It has also emerged that the New Scientist report was itself based on a short telephone interview with Syed Hasnain, a little-known Indian scientist then based at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi. ”

    You must read the whole story. Really this should be read by all politicians believing in AGW.

  69. From that Times article –
    “many commercial rivals got their predictions for winter right. They benefit from weather forecasts produced by a panel of six different data providers, including the Met Office.”

    Oh, really? Which “many commercial rivals” are they? Who are the “6 different data providers”? Where is the justification for your implied statement that the independents’ forecasts aren’t based on their own work?

    Carefully crafted weasel words. The Times has long occupied an exalted position in the Church of AGW. It’s always worth spending a few minutes on their pronouncements to spot the obfuscation.

  70. “johnh (04:43:26) :

    The troubles of the MET office are common to a lot of the UK Govt institutions, after 12 years of one party in power they have ceased to be independent and are now in the pockets of NU Labour. Too many political appointments by a party more interested in managing the press than actually delivering on policy statements.”

    Read this in The Sunday Times: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6991086.ece headed:
    January 17, 2010
    “Whitehall rebels over ‘brutish’ Gordon Brown”. You will get it right from the top of the Civil Service. They think GB “micro manages” and totally lack a coherent strategy for managing Corporate Britain.

  71. “John Peter (06:09:45) :

    What do you think of this article in The Sunday Times today Sunday “World misled over Himalayan glacier meltdown”. ”

    Yeah, big numbers, 2035, 2350, you confuse that easily. Even the beeb couldn’t suppress it for unknown reasons:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8387737.stm

    Makes you wonder how much doublethink they have to do, their heads must hurt.

  72. p.g.sharrow “PG” (21:24:26) :

    I believe the Farmer’s Almanac uses astrology for it’s long range forecasts, you know sun,moon and large planets. ;-)

    Just the ruminations of an old country farmer…

    Then you should be using the Old Farmer’s Almanac instead of the lesser Farmers Almanac.

    ——-

    Marlene Anderson (22:06:07) :

    The Old Farmer’s Almanac they have a story on the waning of Global Warming, You can find it here:

    http://www.almanac.com/content/global-warming-wane

    Oh, great – they lost it when they redid their web site, nice to see they put it back up. (That’s the article by Joe D’Aleo, and one reason why the OFA called for a couple decades of cooling in their 2009 edition.)

  73. I’m not sure where to post this – but it very well could have a greater impact than climategate – I couldnt’ find the tips thread

    From the times of london http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6991177.ece “World Misled over Himalayan Meltdown”

    Basically it reveals that the whole issue of the Himalayan Glacier meltdown that the IPCC used to say it had a 90 percent probability was based on a New Scientist article that was based on a phone call with the author of the article and an scientist. The scientist says that it was pure speculation

    “Hasnain has since admitted that the claim was “speculation” and was not supported by any formal research. If confirmed it would be one of the most serious failures yet seen in climate research. The IPCC was set up precisely to ensure that world leaders had the best possible scientific advice on climate change.”

  74. It seems that yesterdays temperature is never posted next to yesterdays prediction.

    I would like to see weather forecasts with little stat boxes next to them showing if they were right for the past three days.

    There should also be a tally of hits or misses for the year.

  75. Do not try to use the chaotic nature of weather to debunk climate predictions. I started along this path at one time and it leads nowhere. It gets down to timescales. It doesn’t mean that a significant change in climate can’t happen on short timescales, however, it is unlikely. Just like weather can generally be forecast up to 3-5 days in advance (with occasional misses). Climate should be predictable 100-150 years in advance (assuming 30 years is a good definition of climate units).

    The problem is not chaos. The problem is the lack of knowledge of the underlying principles of climate change.

  76. Now I ask myself, why this posting? Why is this of interest? I guess I then put 2+2 with the Met Office and East Anglia together and think this is clear indication of why we should not listen to the Met Office about climate change either? Problem is the NZ Met Service also identifies climate change as a major problem for our society in the near future…. see their web site. Or ignore facts as normal.

  77. @Mike Ramsay: “I have recently been wondering who they are exactly. Who is capable of coordinating a global scam of this magnitude? And how is it possible that so many bright people could have been so completely taken in? This is a question that history, at some point, will demand an answer. Who is running the AGW political campaign?”

    Good questions Mike, it is hard to imagine some Dr. No sitting on an island planning all this for sure. My take is that there were the original activists, mainly Maurice Strong and Hansen agitiating for something to be done about the burning of fossil fuels because it was popularly supposed that Venus had been destroyed by runaway greenhouse gases. They had a ready audience in the environmentalists ever on the look out for a cause to make us feel guilty for being here in the first place. Then the UN set up the IPCC whose sole role is to forecast the results of AGW and put these results to the politicians. Along the way we got Gore a high profile activist, and potential carbon trading billionaire who breathed more life into the movement. The IPCC attracted those scientists who supported the AGW theory and the thing snowballed. While it was doing so the oil companies realised there’s a lot of money to be taken from the little guy and they became supportive. As time progressed those people who, in common with the environmentalists, want world governement saw this as an open doorway to achieving it and joined the movement. The MSM has virtually been silenced by a continuous propoganda campaign telling them the vast majority of scientists support the AGW theory.

    As for the scientific community, it’s a bit like Miss Congeniality where the beauty queen contestants all had to hope for “World Piece” to stand any chance of winning, so with the scientists the easy option for getting funding is “Climate ChanGE”. So it became the mantra, that plus the fact that you needed to have considerable status in the climate science community to go against the trend, the viciousness with which dissenting voices are treated would put off all but the potential kamkazi pilots of science.

    Then came the “hockeystick” it was milk and bread for the activists and they rallied around it because it eradicated the MWP. I suspect many of them knew it was bunkum but seeing everyone taken it by it went along with it to get their political views on the agenda. Once they had done that, they were tied together in the Big Lie, McIntyre and McKitrick demolished it, but the Team did everything in their power keep it on the agenda because once off the agenda the second phase would be to ask why they weren’t able to see it as a fraud. Now they’re all in the Ship of Infamy together, and maybe not this year, or even next, but some time in the future they will be held to account for the corruption they’ve introduced into the scientific process and all of them will go down in infamy as the scientists who tried to fool the world with bad science.

    So no Dr. No, more like a snowball gathering different people with different agendas for their own ends. Thank God for the Chinese.

  78. The only really disappointing thing about that otherwise good article, John Peter, is that the author left out the most entertaining part. The 2035 date came from a mistranslated version of a Russian paper which claimed that the Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2350.

    The entire claim rests on a typographical error.

  79. The BBC would be well served in getting a private forecasting group to do their work – a group that is paid / rewarded for getting the forecast correct…. versus a government entity pushing the political agenda of AGW. I dont care what your politics are, making a warm forecast because that is what you want to happen will not make it so. Obviously people of the BBC are waking up to that fact – their listeners want an accurate forecast, regardless of their politics. At the end of the day, we all live in the real world, not some dreamland where we can control the weather with wishful thinking.

    For those who dont read Joe Bastardi (of Accuweather), you should. He gets it – he knows that he gets paid for being right. He is obsessed with getting the forecast right and, as many have pointed out here, he has one of the best track records in the business.

  80. Mike Ramsey (04:52:34) :

    JohnG (04:29:05) :

    As failed prophets throughout history have found: if your prophecies fail to materialise, you’re in deep trouble. It appears that the Warm Front discovered years ago that the globe just wasn’t going to cooperate as far as their predictions were concerned so they attempted to pull off the most expensive scam ever. They told us it was warmer than it really was; they continued to warn us that temperatures would go on rising; they admonished us that it was our fault. All these are proving incorrect. Can anyone explain why anybody is still listening to them?

    I have recently been wondering who they are exactly. Who is capable of coordinating a global scam of this magnitude? And how is it possible that so many bright people could have been so completely taken in? This is a question that history, at some point, will demand an answer. Who is running the AGW political campaign?

    They are the many various green organizations. Coordination is done at the top levels of them. There are several books which list names and numbers, I am behind on my reading, so any recommendation I would make would be dated. The greens made it a long term goal to infiltrate the government organizations which make/enforce the rules, and more importantly control the funding. Pick any government organization, gather the names of the top ten people and read their bios. Connections to green organizations will be fairly evident.

  81. The Met Office is living in the past. Winters were warm in the UK ten years ago. They convinced themselves that it was a linear or exponential trend, and have been unable to extract their thought process from an outdated paradigm.

  82. I believe the basic reason for these failed predictions is that carbon dioxide has been much over-rated as a climate driver in the past and we are now encountering an unexpected CO2-independent inflection-point in the complex of factors that really do drive our climate. As long as carbon dioxide remains as the ‘black beast’ of greenhouse global warming, I expect to see degraded weather forecasting.

  83. The Kiwi company that the beeb is considering subscribing to instead of the Met office, actually uses a consortium of forecast supplied by different providers – including the Met office.

    The idea that you can get a more accurate forecast by combining several (inaccurate) forecasts is wholly consistent with the IPCC approach which purports to predict the future climate by aggregating 20 climage models.

    Perhaps this is the sign of the new Po Mo science of the future. You don’t need a model or theory that works – that would be too difficult and involve all sorts of inconvenient tasks such as fitting theories with observation and carrying out deductive reasoning until the theory fits the data. In Po Mo science you just chuck everything into the cauldron and hope that the inaccuracies are all averaged away.

  84. Jimbo (05:57:39) :

    “It amazes me that there aren’t more sceptics within the Met Office. I mean if their computer models fail so badly for forecasts a few months away what faith should they put on GCM forecasts for 2050.”

    The UK government’s view (and that of the whole political establishment) is that AGW is something they back to the hilt. They’re intolerant of doubt. Over the past 12 years of the Labour government, we’ve seen the politicisation of the Civil Service, that is, rather than give independent advice, come up with answers, which have a ring of independence, but which are ‘on message’. The job of the Met Office has become largely to beat the AGW drum.

    In a place like that you can join in beating the drum, you can keep your head down, or you can leave. Very few would sound off about how the fundamental aims of the organisation were wrong, whatever their private views, and if they did they would be in for a hard time. Don’t forget, the Met Office is a branch of the Civil Service.

    Also, you have to look at the wider climate which has been created, where the authors of papers with any connection to clmate, include a genuflection AGW in the same way that papers in the Soviet Union included a paragraph explaining how the work vindicated Marxist-Lenninist theory.

    I’m not surprised there are few vocal sceptics in the Met Office.

  85. Steve Goddard (07:31:01) :

    The Met Office is living in the past. Winters were warm in the UK ten years ago. They convinced themselves that it was a linear or exponential trend, and have been unable to extract their thought process from an outdated paradigm.

    Looks like there’s job security in that paradigm, with bonuses no less—getting bonuses for living in the past!

    So why be as accurate as Piers Corbyn when you’d end up having to sell your forecasts to make a living?

    /sarc off/

  86. “nigel jones (07:51:19) :
    [...]
    Also, you have to look at the wider climate which has been created, where the authors of papers with any connection to clmate, include a genuflection AGW in the same way that papers in the Soviet Union included a paragraph explaining how the work vindicated Marxist-Lenninist theory.”

    Nicely said. It will also have the same amount of success as Marxism-Leninism.
    Oh, while we’re talking of it:
    “dekitchen (06:52:31) :

    Now I ask myself, why this posting? Why is this of interest? I guess I then put 2+2 with the Met Office and East Anglia together and think this is clear indication of why we should not listen to the Met Office about climate change either? Problem is the NZ Met Service also identifies climate change as a major problem for our society in the near future…. see their web site. Or ignore facts as normal.

    Hi. Yeah i guess you got it. Nobody should listen to the Met Office because they’re dead wrong in everything they say. Who ignores the facts here?

  87. It seems the Met Office has contracted a rather nasty case of pnemonia, coughing up one bad forecast after another. The masses now have a new sport: mocking the crass stupidity of the weather forecasts.
    Somebody at the MET (and soon other such agencies) have finally figured out that they are being viewed as nothing more than a circus act, complete with clowns.

  88. The Met Office was deliberately steered into the climate change agenda (rather than just weather forecasting) by their eco-imperialist and climate alarmist Chairman, Robert Napier. This was one of the first things Napier did when he got into the driving seat – he says so in a previous Annual Report. Napier, former WWF-UK Chief Executive, has his fingers in all sorts of government, UN, regulatory and tax pies. The Met Office has become a joke under his Chairmanship because of it because he’s incapable of leaving his own eco-imperialist agenda at home. If you try to infuse propaganda into weather forecasting you will soon come unstuck, as we have seen. You can’t fool all the people all the time.

    Of course, Napier doesn’t see things that way. In mid-2008, Napier declared “During the last year I have been impressed, but not surprised, by our accurate forecasts…for the…season ahead.”

    http://buythetruth.wordpress.com/2009/08/24/eco-imperialism-every-environmentalists-dream/

    It’s important that the Met Office employees are ‘seduced’ by bonuses to keep them ‘on board’ and ‘on message’. As Jerry Ravetz said about climate models:

    “…climate change models are a form of “seduction”…advocates of the models…recruit possible supporters, and then keep them on board when the inadequacy of the models becomes apparent. This is what is understood as “seduction”; but it should be observed that the process may well be directed even more to the modelers themselves, to maintain their own sense of worth in the face of disillusioning experience…”

    http://buythetruth.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/climate-change-and-the-death-of-science/

    See here how Julia Slingo changed her tune and was seduced to keep ‘on message’ when she joined the Met Office as their Chief Scientist:

    http://buythetruth.wordpress.com/2009/06/24/met-office-fraudcast/

  89. A common symptom of global warming fever is the complete inability to detect measure and report cooling of any kind. Thos who have this fever will use terms like “negative global temperature trends ” or “neutral trend” or ” near zero warming ” or “slow natural variations” or” single –decade hiatus” and will go to any length in order to avoid using the term “cooling “. Looks like the fever has affected the entire Met Office. Cure? A week in Greenland.

  90. Even the best of ‘em can get it wrong sometimes:-

    From The Sunday Times January 17, 2010

    World misled over Himalayan glacier meltdown.

    Two years ago the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a benchmark report that was claimed to incorporate the latest and most detailed research into the impact of global warming. A central claim was the world’s glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could vanish by 2035.

    In the past few days the scientists behind the warning have admitted that it was based on a news story in the New Scientist, a popular science journal, published eight years before the IPCC’s 2007 report.

    WHOOPS! Is the IPCC on a contract too?

  91. Mike Ramsey (04:52:34) quoted JohnG (04:29:05):
    “As failed prophets throughout history have found: if your prophecies fail to materialise, you’re in deep trouble. It appears that the Warm Front discovered years ago that the globe just wasn’t going to cooperate as far as their predictions were concerned so they attempted to pull off the most expensive scam ever. They told us it was warmer than it really was; they continued to warn us that temperatures would go on rising; they admonished us that it was our fault. All these are proving incorrect. Can anyone explain why anybody is still listening to them?”

    Mike continued: “I have recently been wondering who are exactly. Who is capable of coordinating a global scam of this magnitude? And how is it possible that so many bright people could have been so completely taken in?”

    Mike: Think religion and churches, and how beliefs have been perpetuated through the centuries and even created in out time.

    DirkH (03:18:21) wrote: “Leftists can maintain contradictory attitudes for quite a while until it makes them crack and they defect to the sceptics camp only to be replaced by younger leftists. Hansen is quite resilient in this respect but it’s obvious that it’s taking its toll on him. Same for Lovelock. You can literally watch them go insane. Or take Mojib Latif: He predicts something very similar to Joe D’Aleo but as soon as a newspaper quotes him he has to explain that he’s been misinterpreted.
    “They all started out sane and look what became of them. Look at what’s left of the BBC.”

    Cognitive dissonance.

    A friend who was involved with a nuclear power plant used to invite some of those who attacked nuclear power for a tour of our nearby plant. When the “environmentalist” saw the many safeguards, he/she often dropped out of the “environmental” group, but never went back to explain to the others their change of mind.

    IanM

  92. Sitting here in my rocking chair, I reflect, without any academic references to hand to back things up, that the Meteorological Office’s predictions, mega-super-duper computers notwithstanding, are less accurate now than they were fifty years ago. For immediate forecasts (in newspapers), the only graphic we had then was a pressure map, amplified by a short written statement. This, together with a barometer and little basic gumption, worked fine. Weather forecasts on the wireless and television were factual, and were delivered with gravitas and without juvenile, patronising comment such as is forthcoming from the gullible sixteen-year-olds on work experience that pass as ‘weather experts’ today. Instead of ‘a low pressure system is passing north of x but is expected to move south . . .’ we now get, ‘It’s a case of showers all the way’ (what on earth is a ‘case of showers’?); instead of ‘a deep depression is approaching from the south-west . . .’ we get, ‘Don’t forget to wrap up against the wind'; instead of ‘ temperatures will rise sharply to a maximum of y degrees’ we get ‘Make sure your sunblock is handy’. It’s enough to put you off your drinking chocolate.

  93. OT – Does any of the community here have any input on – The impact of Global Warming on Coral Whitening – My local newspaper had a bold scare story in which it is basically claimed that AGW is causing coral death due to rising sea temps. My thinking is that the claimed 0.5c increase in global atmospheric temps since 1875 could hardly have any impact of ocean temps due to its massive thermal mass. I am no scientist, but I would like to respond to the newspaper claim, pointing out their AGW bandwagon disinformation.
    The article does mention other factors like solar irradiance, but this is glossed over – the reader is left with the definite conclusion that it is all because of AGW. Any advise would be appreciated – Kevin

  94. OT but looks like the media are slowly coming to their moment of clarity. Warning: it contains the bottle / CO2 video.

    BBC Ethical Man: In praise of scepticism

    “…..I have no problem reporting that micro wind turbines don’t work or that cars can sometimes be more carbon efficient than public transport – if that is what the evidence suggests.
    ……….

    That instinct to suppress evidence that challenges preconceptions is very dangerous. Any hint that the climate change science is anything other than transparent will – understandably – encourage people to be even more sceptical.
    ……..
    That’s how scientific hypotheses get proved and – yes – disproved. And wouldn’t it be great if someone proved the science of global warming was wrong?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ethicalman/2009/12/in_praise_of_scepticism.html

  95. I’m not holding my breath. I’ll believe the BBC will fire the Met Office when it happens. They are both corporate members of the incestuous cabal that is the current politicised establishment in the UK and EU, and whose tentacles spread a long way. This has the appearance to me of a carefully spun story that is intended to convey ‘distance’ between them; but my guess is that having got their headline they’ll allow the story quietly to die.

  96. When the Met Office speaks do you hear the sound of General Motors? There simply must be a virus that infects old organizations and brings on various cancers and decay. I believe it starts at the top and works its way down. I believe it has a lot to do with the absence of good, fresh blood on the board of directors and within upper level management. Its a real shame because we do need the best weather/climate products and cars/trucks; there is a market, but they just can’t do the work anymore.

  97. If the Met Office used Peirs Corbyn’s services they would save a fortune as Peirs’s office isn’t much bigger than my dunny and probably has more paper in it. They could flog their computer and save us some money also.

  98. Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News has a major presence in the UK. Sky can use any source it chooses for weather forecasts. Does it use Met Office or another source? If Sky currently uses the Met Office why aren’t all concerned Brits lobbying for Bastardi or Corbyn?

  99. Prof Mobbs:
    “All models have biases

    and these are very small. It may be, as the Met Office suggests, that the observations are wrong, not the model.” :O)

    Don’t believe your lying eyes. And on the topic of bias:

    “Modellers have an inbuilt bias towards forced climate change because the causes and effect are clear.”
    “General circulation modelling of Holocene climate variability”,
    by Gavin Schmidt, Drew Shindell, Ron Miller, Michael Mann and David Rind, published in Quaternary Science Review in 2004.)

    http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~mann/shared/articles/Schmidtetal-QSR04.pdf

  100. Nothing is going to change the head of the UK Met. Office is a former head of the UK World Wildlife Fund and an environmental campaigner, its just jobs for the boys. The BBC are now being seen by the public, the license payers, as going through the motions trying to obtain the best financial deal with the Met Office for the next 5 year contract.

    Almost signed, sealed and nearly delivered.

  101. Jeff L (07:21:24) :

    “For those who don’t read Joe Bastardi (of Accuweather), you should. He gets it – he knows that he gets paid for being right.”

    An inconvenience the Met doesn’t have to worry about. Salaries and bonuses will still flow. If you’re wrong, so what?

  102. ScientistForTruth (08:30:31) :

    “The Met Office was deliberately steered into the climate change agenda (rather than just weather forecasting) by their eco-imperialist and climate alarmist Chairman, Robert Napier.”

    But it’s unlikely he was appointed and his subsequent actions were a surprise to whoever appointed him, as he ploughed his own furrow. He was obviously selected to shift the Met Office to promote an agenda already agreed at a high level. It all fits in with the statements we’ve heard from politicians about “Britain taking a lead on Climate Change”, “millions of green jobs” and all the rest. If the government didn’t approve of the direction the Met Office was going in, funds would soon have dried up and Napier would have been persuaded that his talents would be more fruitfully applied elsewhere.

    The problem is that the short term and particularly, mid term forecasts are being laughed at; not good for the propaganda effort at all. You can come out with arguments as to why the long term climate forecasts have nothing to do with weather forecasting, but the fiascos will cause the long term forecasts to be seen in the same light. If a maths lecturer demonstrates clearly that he’s lost with school algebra, who’s going to give him a serious hearing when he gives a lecture on Galois Theory?

  103. @Richard M

    My vague impression from the chaos&order popsci TV program, was that patterns can be predicted if these same patterns have happened before. It is then a matter of understanding the underlying conditions that resulted in those patterns. Then as reality unfolds in the present, we look and see if similar underlying conditions are arising, and if they are, we can have a good idea of the resulting patterns which are likely to appear, just as they did before.

    But all this assumes that the underlying conditions we have now have a precedent. If the climate is being forced in an unprecedented way as the AGW crowd seem to keep stating, then that forcing, which is operating on a chaotic system, will produce a new pattern that has no precedent.

    I think, perhaps, then, that the theorists who believe the sun is the real driver, have a better chance at predicting future climate than do those who believe unprecedented CO2 is the driver, simply because, if we want to know what new climate order the chaotic weather will produce when forced by the sun, we just need to look at past solar history and the resulting order produced in the Earth’s climate. But if the CO2 is really the driver, then we have no way to know what new climate order will arise out of the CO2 forcing on chaotic climate, because it has never happened before, and being chaotic, the order it produces, whatever shape or form it takes, cannot be anticipated.

    A new forcing, creates a new order, but that order, being new, can’t be predicted. The simple linear notion that “more CO2 means more warming” doesn’t make sense in a chaotic system with feedbacks. Yes it will mean something, it may result in something, a new state or order, but after a few iterations through chaos, the resulting form will be unrecognisable, if the CO2 forcing is really as novel as some believe.

    Sorry to keep repeating this, but I just wonder whether it is worth anything.

  104. “Professor Chris Folland from the Met Office said a re-analysis of weather science might even show that the actual temperature measurements have under-recorded recent warming – making the Met Office forecast even more accurate than it appears.”

    “Under -recorded recent warning” WTH? If the data don’t agree with your model you adjust the data? Is this how the climatology community works – if so, they are no scientists!

  105. % accuracy figures are given for corbin and bastardi.

    There must be data to back up these figures?

    Please point me to this data

  106. Government motors, government news, government weather forecasting, government everything.

    People need to rise up and throw off the shackles. Just say no. Eliminate the agencies. All that government does can be done by the private sector, or not done at all. If there is no demand for it, if the free market doesn’t want it, then it shouldn’t be done!

    It’s not just the Met Office. Imagine life without NASA, NOAA, the EPA, or any government run anything. Imagine the very least government imaginable. Then demand that.

  107. You would probably get better long term weather predictions from Old Moore’s Almanac than from the Met Office!

    And it only costs £2.20 for a whole year ahead!

    Also, it must be pretty good to have lasted since 1697.

  108. Send Donald Trump over there to straighten Dr. Folland out.
    “You’re Fired”.
    The Brits will get a bang out of watching Trump whittle down the panel of contestants every week.
    Better yet, pipe the water directly from the Thames into Dr. Folland’s shower.
    He can then tell us how under-reported the warming has been.

  109. nigel jones (10:18:41):

    “[Napier] was obviously selected to shift the Met Office to promote an agenda already agreed at a high level.”

    The same thing happened at the once great Economist, after John Mickelthwait was appointed Editor in Chief by the Economist’s board [interestingly, the Wikipedia page describing the foundation that selects the Editor in Chief, and how it operates, is gone now].

    As an Economist subscriber for over thirty years, I saw how quickly it became a strong advocate for AGW when Mickelthwait was appointed in 2006. Now, in every issue you can find statements such as, “CO2 is colorless, and you cannot see it pouring out of the smokestacks into the sky.” [quoted from memory]. The Economist now constantly trumpets the AGW/climate catastrophe scare as an established fact, in every issue. The Economist’s adoption of the AGW agenda since Mickelthwait’s promotion is glaring. And there is rarely a letter to the editor published that contradicts its AGW lobbying.

    It is clear how this came about. Prof Richard Lindzen explains, using actual examples, how easily a professional organization can be hijacked by only one or two individuals in the right positions: click

    As a former chief executive officer of an organization that operated according to written rules and bylaws, I was aware of how very easy it is to steer a private agenda. It takes time, knowledge of the organization and its committees, subcommittees and bylaws – and the right person placed in the right position. Most organizations, whether public companies or private foundations, are obligated to follow the direction of motions made and voted on. They are based on Roberts Rules of Order or their own adopted version of Parliamentary Procedure, amended from Roberts to fit the particular organization.

    In committees and subcommittees motions can be done very informally, such as, “After discussion, if there are no objections…” The committee’s unspoken vote then appears in the meeting minutes, and is routinely approved at the next meeting along with the rest of the committee’s actions and decisions.

    By skillfully building on individually minor and apparently inconsequential past motions, a point is reached where the entire organization is on record as supporting an agenda that would have never been accepted if presented to the membership as a major change in direction. Having seen this from the inside, like Dr Lindzen I can see what is going on within professional societies, publicly traded companies and foundations. People have learned to game the system.

    Government bodies are even easier to game. The top person is appointed according to the spoils system. If one administration doesn’t change the focus of an organization like the Met Office, the next one can. Usually it is not necessary to replace anyone; a simple understanding is reached where the top person keeps his job in return for promoting the new agenda. In government bodies there is no need for sometimes pesky votes; policy is interpreted by the boss, and everyone [who wants their job] falls into line.

    Newspapers are the same. The Editor in Chief sets the course. That is the reason that every major U.S. newspaper and television network, even Fox [which is only seen as conservative by comparison with the rest of the alphabet networks] generally promotes AGW, and gives little if any acknowledgment to truly blockbuster stories like the East Anglia emails.

    In a rational world there would be a diversity of opinion due to fierce competition between the major news outlets. But there really is none. They assign no reporters to scoop their competitors regarding global warming issues: it is all AGW all the time. Contrary evidence is routinely ignored.

    If it were not for the internet, the populace would never hear another point of view than AGW. It doesn’t take much foresight to see that an upcoming target for government censorship will be the internet. They won’t call it what it is – censorship – but that’s what it will be. Control of the population, along with the ability to radically increase taxes, requires control of all major media outlets.

  110. Richard M (06:51:43) :
    “Do not try to use the chaotic nature of weather to debunk climate predictions. I started along this path at one time and it leads nowhere. It gets down to timescales. It doesn’t mean that a significant change in climate can’t happen on short timescales, however, it is unlikely. Just like weather can generally be forecast up to 3-5 days in advance (with occasional misses). Climate should be predictable 100-150 years in advance (assuming 30 years is a good definition of climate units).

    The problem is not chaos. The problem is the lack of knowledge of the underlying principles of climate change.”

    One of the features of the deterministic chaos displayed by or climate is that the future cannot be precisely determined by observing the patterns of what happened in the past. Trends are of no use and the only way climatology will move forward is if, as you say, we start to understand the underlying principles about how simple physical systems interact to produce the order we see in the quasi-cyclical climate change behaviour.

    Climate is a ‘hard’ problem and science isn’t yet getting anywhere close to understanding it or delivering accurate long-term forecasts.

  111. @ KPO (09:11:43) :

    OT – Does any of the community here have any input on – The impact of Global Warming on Coral Whitening –
    —————————————————
    Here are a few articles on this site which might help (apologies if you have already read these):

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/11/not-as-bad-as-we-thought-coral-can-recover-from-climate-change-damage/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/01/oh-snap-co2-causes-ocean-critters-to-build-more-shells/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/13/sea-sponges-soak-up-carbon-like-a-sponge/

  112. Jim Cripwell (04:16:37) :

    One aspect that I have not seen mentioned. I am fairly sure that in past years, the UK Met. Office has waited until it has all the data from the previous year, before making a forecast for the coming year. Typically, the December data comes by the third week in January, so it is towards the end of January that the next year’s forecast is made.

    In 2009/10 things were different. The forecast for 2010, predicting a warm year, was made to coincide with the Copenhagen Conference. At the time the forecast was made, far from not having the December data, the UK Met. Office did not even have the November data.

    Maybe I am biased, but to me this is the UK Met. Office being completely unscientific. The timing of the 2010 forecast was made to have maximum impact on Copenhagen, and seems to have been done for completely political, not scientific, reasons.

    I urge you to post this as a comment on one or more UK newspaper or BBC sites.

    Richard M (06:51:43) :

    Do not try to use the chaotic nature of weather to debunk climate predictions. I started along this path at one time and it leads nowhere. It gets down to timescales. … The problem is not chaos. The problem is the lack of knowledge of the underlying principles of climate change.

    Hear, hear!

  113. @ geronimo (07:01:40) :

    Another impetus was the “template” that had been set up by prior successful finger-pointing at manmade atmospheric gasses being responsible for the ozone hole and acid rain. o this looked like another “winner” to trend-followers.

    A further impetus was that the cast of “villains” — corporate America, especially auto, oil, and coal companies — made an appealing target to demon-hunting Democrats.

  114. Thanks for mentions (by ‘Engineer’ etc).

    May I recommend interested people read our WeatherAction News Release 2010 number 6 entitled:- Met Office hides forecast failings behind nowcast spin as Warmers’ Empire crumbles. Just go to WeatherAction.com and look at Latest News & events Number 6 pdf with pics.

    You will see

    (1) We at WeatherAction predicted using our Solar Weather Technique (SWT) the cold winter period in Ireland, Britain & Europe 6months ahead – BEFORE all others and in much more detail than all others who even got it remotely right – and NB it will return. We also predicted various bouts of heavy snow & ice in USA etc and the very cold period now/developing further in N Korea, N China & SE Russia.

    (2) The SWT can deliver real real long range warning of extremes of eg snow to timing of a day or so before standard meteorology has even thought of what might happen in those periods.

    (3) The SWT can also reliably (95%) state in advance of standard meteorology when standard meteorology will be likely to notably underestimate amounts of (eg) snowfall. These improvements in short range forecasting come directly from SWT predictions of solar-magnetic influences on frontal activity and on the motion of the jet stream. Links to videos on this are included in the pdf WAnews2010No6.

    Thank you,
    Piers Corbyn

  115. The BCC should sue for any payments made to the Met Office since their forecast have clearly been manipulated and distorted to cover up the cooling trend. How come their rivals got it right? If the global cooling trend continues, this will make the Met Office even more vulnerable and will eventually be exposed as delinquent in their duties. Tax payers should be demanding answers and the Met Office held to account. It’s obvious there should be a royal commission or such like into all this.

  116. “KPO (09:11:43) :

    OT – Does any of the community here have any input on – The impact of Global Warming on Coral Whitening – My local newspaper had a bold …”

    Willis Eschenbach is the man:
    1. Coral reefs, which are the major CaCO3 shell formers, produce CO2. This daily
    production often drives the pCO2 in the local ocean around the reefs to levels three
    times the world average … without harming the reef. Go figure.
    see: http://climateaudit.org/2006/04/09/hansen-and-schmidt-predicting-the-past/
    esp.:

    http://climateaudit.org/2006/04/09/hansen-and-schmidt-predicting-the-past/#comment-48219

    sunscreen could be to blame for bleaching:

    http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/docs/2008/10966/abstract.html

    even in very low concentrations

    Also, in the Red Sea coral doesn’t bleach – water temperature there is 34 degree C. See wikipedia for instance.

  117. Pascvaks (13:15:05),

    There are certainly ways to fix it. But they are not pleasant, and it is doubtful that the country has what it takes. Possible. But not likely.

    Maybe we can fight off the inevitable in November. We’ll see then.

  118. The temperatures in the BBC’s forecast for Dublin, Ireland differ considerably when compared to AccuWeather and Weather Underground.

    Take these figures (all in deg C) for Thursday, 21 Jan:

    BBC: Low 11 – High 11

    ACU: Low 3 – High 9

    WU: Low 4 – High 9

    If the Beeb’s bias is that transparent, why bother with a forecast at all!?

  119. Ref – Smokey (16:14:42) :
    “Pascvaks (13:15:05)”
    “Maybe we can fight off the inevitable in November. We’ll see then.”
    __________________________
    Glad to hear you’re an optimist. November? OK! The glass is half full:-) Let’s hope and …(that other thing folks aren’t suppose to say anymore.)

  120. I wonder if the Met office works like this joke. Except it thought it was going to be hot.

    The Indians asked their Chief in autumn if the winter was going to be cold or not. Not really knowing an answer, the chief replies that the winter was going to be cold and that the members of the village were to collect wood to be prepared.

    Being a good leader, he then went to the next phone booth and called the National Weather Service and asked, “Is this winter to be cold?”

    The man on the phone responded, “This winter is going to be quite cold indeed.”

    So the Chief went back to speed up his people to collect even more wood to be prepared. A week later he called the National Weather Service again, “Is it going to be a very cold winter?”

    “Yes”, the man replied, “it’s going to be a very cold winter.”

    So the Chief goes back to his people and orders them to go and find every scrap of wood they can find. Two weeks later he calls the National Weather Service again: “Are you absolutely sure that the
    winter is going to be very cold?”

    “Absolutely,” the man replies, “the Indians are collecting wood like crazy!”

  121. “Maybe we can fight off the inevitable in November. We’ll see then.”

    There’s a close special election on Tuesday for the vacant Mass. Senate seat. If the GOP wins, the Dems won’t be able to override a filibuster.

  122. Smokey (11:52:19) :
    “If it were not for the internet, the populace would never hear another point of view than AGW. It doesn’t take much foresight to see that an upcoming target for government censorship will be the internet. They won’t call it what it is – censorship – but that’s what it will be. Control of the population, along with the ability to radically increase taxes, requires control of all major media outlets.”

    I fear you are right; They will tell us it is for our own good
    i.e. To stop porn in order to protect children or to stop terrorism but will result in blanket control.

  123. Stefan (10:26:49), I agree with you for the most part. However, CO2 is not really new to the climate system. It’s hard to argue that nothing can be known about its influence even though it may be true. Put yourself in the position of arguing the other side. Remember the claim is 90% certainty. You could simply claim that the 10% covers this issue.

    That’s why I think it’s better to avoid this issue, the real problem is the uncertainty of what they claim to know. Things like the 2035 vs. 2350 issue show incompetence. ClimateGate shows many problems. The march of thermometers throws even more doubt on the honesty of the researchers. These are the things I think we need to focus on.

  124. If you live in New Zealand as I do, and you want a long term weather forecast you sure as hell do not go to the NZ Met Service. The best place is Ken Ring’s site…..predictweather.co.nz……he gets it right more often than not. He is also an AGW is a SCAM SUPPORTER (as anybody with a modicum of intelligence should be). And he insists that Met Services the World over cannot and never will be able to provide reliable long term forecasts while they persist in using their current FLAWED methods.

  125. ok i found a bit out about Metra.
    Metra Information Ltd, the commercial and international subsidiary of New Zealand’s public weather forecaster, MetService, has taken a 50% stake in a private UK forecasting company Weather Commerce with a view to a complete buy-out in three years.

    This is the first time Metra has taken an equity position in a foreign forecaster although, it has a number of high profile customers in the UK, Europe, North America and the Middle East.

    “This is a logical step for us,” says MetService chief executive Paul Reid

    http://www.metra-info.com/weather_commerce

  126. I wonder how many doctor of science degrees were awarded in the U.S.A and the U.K in the past few years on the basis of theses papers on physiogenic (naturally-caused) climate forcing as opposed to those on anthropogenic (human caused) climate forcing studies. I suspect that it may be almost impossible to obtain a degree in climate science these days if you do not accept, or pretend to accept, man as the primary driver of modern climate change.

  127. The warming bias appears unmistakable to me and possibly approved at the highest levels?

    *2010 winter temperatures are likely to be near or above average over much of Europe including the UK. Winter 2009/10 is likely to be milder than last year for the UK, but there is still a 1 in 7 chance of a cold winter.

    * It is more likely than not that 2010 will be the warmest in the instrumental record, beating the previous record year which was 1998

    *Met office decadal forecast predicts renewed warming after 2010 with about half the years to 2015 likely to be warmer globally than the warmest year on record [1998]

    *They are also predicting global temperatures to rise by 4C by 2060 which translates to about 0.08C per year or 10 times faster than the last decade or last century [0.007 C/year]

    .With all the past failed forecasts , the Met Office is like the investment dealer who asks you to invest with him for the long term .But if you had gone with him the last four years , you would have lost your shirt since their portfolio was negative during the previous four years .

    Recently they are showing that they have little credibility in the short term or weekly forecasts. Previously they had no proven credibility for seasonal and long term projections as their models were still in the early unproven and development stage .

    Unfortunately it is the people of UK who are hurt the most, having paid the salaries of these people and then having to suffer the unpredicted cold weather and the unprepared energy stocks and road preparation. A failed organization has within itself the seeds for its own destruction. It is truly amazing that the government seems to condone this type of activity at the tax payer’s expense since no action has been taken to-date to fix an obvious problem.

  128. Even more hilarious is BBC backpedaling furiously to place blame on Met Office. Finger pointing, collapsing agendas, virtual chaos of intelligence… Loyalists, listen to your former subjects:

    “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” Thomas Jefferson

  129. Like in the USA… Round em up and prosecute for fraud. Start with Robert Napier, Chair Met Office and former head of… (wait) World Wildlife Fund.

    NOTE: in any semblance of reality only a dysfunctional entity would appoint a conservationist to head a science office (with a billion dollar supercomputer and 1500 “staff” to run it.)

    These people have set the cause of good environmentalism back 50 years.

  130. There appears to the public at large a conscious or deliberate attempt at the Met Office “to hide the decline” or any mention of any possibility of cooling. All the focus is only on global warming.
    The symptom of global warming fever is the complete inability to determine, detect, measure and report cooling of any kind. They will use terms like “negative global temperature trends ” or “neutral trend” or ” near zero warming ” or “slow natural variations” or” single –decade hiatus” and will go to any length in order to avoid using the term “cooling “. It looks like the fever has affected the entire Met Office and their forecasts. Just read their news release called , GLOBAL WARMING SET TO CONTINUE written in September just before the global warming failed not continue but went totally record cold over most of the Northern Hemisphere. Even when they are attempting to explain WHATS CAUSING THE COLD WEATHER in new release , they have to inject the global warming mantra like “climate change is taking place as the earth continues to warm” . Now why would you inject this statement in the middle of an ice storm weather explanation unless your prime focus is to be voice for the political AGW movement on global warming and be their official spokesman rather than a neutral weather organization telling the people about what weather to expect. Their focus seems on global warming politics mostly . No wonder they have gone off the track

  131. Has the BBC found the Answer , to the decline ?

    Weather with that delightful Kiwi accent will make it feel so much brighter than it really is .

  132. A big thanks to all who answered – plenty to sift through – hope to write a good rebuttal and possibly gets a few others to start questioning before lapping up the AGW hype.

  133. Nemesis (19:28:03) :
    Smokey (11:52:19) :
    “If it were not for the internet, the populace would never hear another point of view than AGW. It doesn’t take much foresight to see that an upcoming target for government censorship will be the internet. “

    It may seem contradictory to conservatives but the U.S. Electronic Frontier Foundation works to defend internet independence (neutrality).

    http://www.eff.org/

    Of course a swift correction is to prosecute ringleaders of the AGW agenda. This requires documenting unlawful behavior, like doctoring data, destroying documents, stonewalling FOI requests. A good place to start would appear to be Mr. Pachauri – provided there is hard evidence of bad behavior.

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