BBC “disappears” headline “Coldest December Day on record for some sites”

People send me stuff. Strange, what could be so wrong or threatening about this story headline that it simply had to “vanish” without so much as a correction or a note as to why? Fortunately the Internet has a memory. This screencap below is from Google cache:

click to enlarge

But if you go to Paul Hudson’s BBC blog right now…

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/paulhudson/

or to the original URL:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/paulhudson/2010/12/coldest-december-day-on-record.shtml

You won’t find this headline. Instead, you’ll find this one:

click for this story

Note the post time of 17:14 matches on the two stories, suggesting this has been a headline rewrite. Though, the article says:

So its been the equal coldest December day in the Vale of York since records began in 1932.

and

Scampton in Lincolnshire has experienced its coldest December day on record with minus 5.5C. Records here go back to the early 1950’s.

So, with those sentences, the headline would still be valid.

The story headline still exists in Google search findings, which is how I located the cached copy.

Note the headline was originally on the BBC home page according to the top link. I guess somebody didn’t like the original headline and decided it must be changed. h/t to WUWT reader “Pingo” for noticing.

On a related note, have a look at this headline right below the newly revised BBC story:

click for story

Ummm, sadly no. A “dead heat” is defined as:

dead heat

a race in which two or more contestants reach the finish line at exactly the same time; tie

The problem is that we have not yet reached “the finish line” for  2010, and compared to 1998, 2010 certainly doesn’t look like a “tie” to me. Here’s Dr. Roy Spencer’s UAH plot with some lines in purple I added comparing peaks of 1998 and 2010, and comparing the 13 month running average peaks of 1998 and 2010 in red:

Clearly, the peak temperatures between 1998 and 2010 are significantly different as shown by the gap in the two magenta lines.

But, what Mr. Hudson is focusing on with his “dead heat” statement is the red 13 month running average line, which “could” be said to be in a tie with 1998 at this moment. There’s only one problem, which becomes clear when we magnify Dr. Spencer’s UAH graph:

As indicated by my red arrow in the magnified view above, the 13 month running average stops in June, 2010, and the months of July, August, September, October, and November apparently aren’t included in it.

If they were, the red plot line would extend to the end of the graph. What’s comical about all this is that the 13 month running average was added by Dr. Spencer in response to complaints that the 25 month running average he had been using “hid the increase”. Read his explanation here: Is Spencer Hiding the Increase? We Report, You Decide

Since the temperature continue to drop, when we do finally get the completed 13 month running average for 2010 that includes all temperatures for 2010, Mr. Hudson will discover that red peak in 2010 will have dropped, and is nowhere close to a “dead heat” when the finish line is actually reached.

But since everyone wants to “close out 2010 early”, so as to help those partiers down in Cancun reach some sort of consensus and action, such stories claiming 2010 will be equal to or warmer than 1998, or the “hottest year on record” or in the “top three hottest years on record” seem to be the overreaching norm for media these days.

Since BBC is interested in correcting headlines, I’m sure our UK readers will want to point out this error to the BBC so that they can change it right away.

Place your bets now.

For those that might want to run their own plots to compare, here’s the actual UAH data for 1998:

   ANNUAL CYCLE BASED ON 79001-98365              12-MON RUNNING MEAN
   YEAR  MON  GLOBAL     NH      SH    TRPC  NO.DAYS   GLOBAL     NH      SH    TRPC  DAYS
   1998    1   0.582   0.612   0.552   1.097   31.      0.103   0.149   0.056   0.213   365.
   1998    2   0.753   0.857   0.649   1.291   28.      0.160   0.211   0.109   0.330   365.
   1998    3   0.528   0.655   0.401   1.025   31.      0.207   0.263   0.152   0.442   365.
   1998    4   0.770   1.014   0.525   1.059   30.      0.287   0.358   0.217   0.563   365.
   1998    5   0.645   0.685   0.606   0.885   31.      0.347   0.419   0.274   0.653   365.
   1998    6   0.562   0.635   0.490   0.536   30.      0.394   0.469   0.318   0.702   365.
   1998    7   0.510   0.659   0.362   0.442   31.      0.430   0.511   0.348   0.706   365.
   1998    8   0.518   0.544   0.492   0.447   31.      0.465   0.539   0.392   0.715   365.
   1998    9   0.458   0.571   0.345   0.312   30.      0.495   0.563   0.427   0.708   365.
   1998   10   0.416   0.519   0.312   0.339   31.      0.519   0.592   0.445   0.711   365.
   1998   11   0.192   0.272   0.113   0.130   30.      0.519   0.606   0.431   0.688   365.
   1998   12   0.277   0.416   0.138   0.073   31.      0.516   0.618   0.414   0.632   365.

and 2010:

   ANNUAL CYCLE BASED ON 79001-98365              12-MON RUNNING MEAN
   YEAR  MON  GLOBAL     NH      SH    TRPC  NO.DAYS   GLOBAL     NH      SH    TRPC  DAYS

   2010    1   0.648   0.860   0.436   0.681   31.      0.313   0.363   0.263   0.286   365.
   2010    2   0.603   0.720   0.486   0.791   28.      0.340   0.375   0.306   0.351   365.
   2010    3   0.653   0.850   0.455   0.726   31.      0.380   0.419   0.340   0.426   365.
   2010    4   0.501   0.799   0.203   0.633   30.      0.408   0.459   0.356   0.477   365.
   2010    5   0.534   0.775   0.292   0.708   31.      0.441   0.511   0.371   0.542   365.
   2010    6   0.436   0.550   0.323   0.476   30.      0.473   0.558   0.389   0.573   365.
   2010    7   0.489   0.635   0.342   0.420   31.      0.479   0.596   0.361   0.565   365.
   2010    8   0.511   0.674   0.347   0.364   31.      0.501   0.633   0.369   0.562   365.
   2010    9   0.603   0.555   0.650   0.285   30.      0.509   0.630   0.389   0.536   365.
   2010   10   0.419   0.365   0.473   0.152   31.      0.514   0.633   0.396   0.517   365.

Source: http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/public/msu/t2lt/tltglhmam_5.3

Update: Dr. Roy Spencer uses the term “dead heat” in the posting here.

Nov. 2010 UAH Global Temperature Update: +0.38 deg. C

Which I’ll have to say, I didn’t read, since that day I was attending to my wife in the hospital. Charles the Moderator posted the story for me (on WUWT). So this is where Mr. Hudson got the term, and I’m in error in assuming it was his term.

My point about the year not being finished, and average line in 2010 dropping with time, and the comparison of absolute peaks remains valid though.

1998    1   0.582   0.612   0.552   1.096   31.      0.103   0.149   0.056   0.213   365.
   1998    2   0.753   0.857   0.649   1.291   28.      0.160   0.211   0.109   0.330   365.
   1998    3   0.528   0.655   0.401   1.025   31.      0.208   0.263   0.152   0.442   365.
   1998    4   0.770   1.014   0.525   1.059   30.      0.288   0.358   0.218   0.563   365.
   1998    5   0.645   0.685   0.606   0.885   31.      0.347   0.419   0.275   0.653   365.
   1998    6   0.562   0.634   0.490   0.536   30.      0.394   0.469   0.319   0.702   365.
   1998    7   0.510   0.659   0.362   0.442   31.      0.430   0.511   0.348   0.706   365.
   1998    8   0.513   0.555   0.470   0.456   31.      0.465   0.540   0.390   0.715   365.
   1998    9   0.432   0.564   0.300   0.284   30.      0.493   0.564   0.422   0.706   365.
   1998   10   0.394   0.512   0.276   0.324   31.      0.514   0.592   0.437   0.708   365.
   1998   11   0.190   0.265   0.116   0.134   30.      0.514   0.605   0.423   0.685   365.
   1998   12   0.289   0.415   0.164   0.086   31.      0.512   0.617   0.408   0.631   365.
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80 thoughts on “BBC “disappears” headline “Coldest December Day on record for some sites”

  1. I wonder when the full record for 2010 is in , if this year falls short of what some are hopping for , will we lots of artciles in the News etc telling us so ?

  2. I once claimed about a climate scare article on the BBC website. I suggested the story was so factually incorrect that it should be removed from the site. The response I got back was a note saying that it was BBC’s policy not to remove any article once it appears on the website. I wonder how editing an article fits in?

  3. The profiles for 1998 and 2010 are different. 1998 was a steeper peek and quick fall off while 2010 has been a more gradual rise. It was not as warm but was warm for a longer period of time.

  4. “Ummm, sadly no. A “dead heat” is defined as:”

    Definition number 2 at your own link is:

    “A political campaign or other contest that is so close that it is impossible to predict the winner.”

    If a word has more than one definition you pick the one that’s closest to the context in which it’s being used. You don’t pick a different meaning and then claim the other person isn’t using the word properly.

    Also you may not be aware but Dr Spencer used the term “dead heat” on his own blog post.

  5. There is a PR problem in trying to sell these stories to westerners sitting in mid to northern latitudes since their experience is telling them that for the main 2010 was not a particlarly warm year and had a very cold start and a very cold end.
    In the UK only the very gullible would believe anything that the BBC has to say about climate. It has too many vested self interests (not least its pension arrangements)and a left wing agenda to sell to provide objective reporting on this area.

  6. Aren’t they just centering the 13-month average, so that the value plotted is for the given month, the 6 previous months, and the 6 following months? In that case, the values of July-November are included in the last data point.

  7. LOL “WUWT disappears 2010 composite storm image”

    REPLY: The text was fouled up in formatting, I’m fixing it. – Anthony

  8. No, Anthony, the “dead heat” comment originated from Spencer’s own comment on his site and refers to the first 11 months of each year, not the running 13 mo. average. Dr Roy further comments that there is no statistically significant difference between 2010 and 1998 data. I believe he says that because of the inherent error margins of the measuring devices involved.

    REPLY: yes I’m in error, see the update. – Anthony

  9. “Since the temperature continue to drop, when we do finally get the completed 13 month running average for 2010 that inlcudes all temperatures for 2010, Mr. Hudson will discover that red peak in 2010 will have dropped…”

    I believe this is inaccurate, that peak will remain exactly as high as it is now. The reason the average doesn’t extend to November is because you need a total of 6 months before, the month itself, and 6 months after to get your 13 month average. Subsequent months will not effect the level of the running average at May, and the colder november is already taken into account for the average for May.

  10. Re KnR says:
    December 6, 2010 at 2:50 pm
    “I wonder when the full record for 2010 is in , if this year falls short of what some are hopping for , will we lots of artciles in the News etc telling us so ?”

    Certainly you jest, for the media it will be on to the next “projected ” fact that can skew the public perception. This has of course been going on for decades with CAGW.

  11. I’ve just discovered Paul Hudson, and I reckon that he’s a straight-talking no-nonsense rational journalist. Whatever the detail of this apparent revisionism – whether ‘his’ website is being leaned on by the BBC’s doctrinaire Global Warming believers – my hope is that he will supplant the BBC’s Environment Analyst Roger Harrabin, an English graduate who has recently discovered scientific uncertainty and embarked on a project to illustrate it. Too little too late, Rodge!

    Paul Hudson has the courage to contrast the Alice-in-Wonderland world of the IPCC with common experience. If somebody’s mucking about with reality here, I doubt that it’s Paul Hudson himself.

  12. The BBC is a sham and should be ignored! – objective reporting on climate has never been one of their strengths – which on its own would be intolerable – but because of the exposure of AGW as much of a muchnesss and a politially motivated campaign, this proves beyond reasonable doubt that the BBC has NOT remained impartial, contrary to its own charter. Ergo, what does this mean about the rest of its reporting?
    One a liar is exposed, he can almost NEVER be believed again. Trust is something that takes years to earn and seconds to lose.
    Is there a trustworthy media ‘station’ out there? – somehow, I doubt it – yes its an idealogy to believe so – all stations will have their ‘stance’ – but blatant propaganda is intolerable.

  13. Anthony said: REPLY: yes I’m in error, see the update. – Anthony

    Sorry, I didn’t see the update. No matter which year ends up the “data” winner, both are very warm years and will likely be “statistical twins”. I see you value peaks more than breadth of warmth … I can’t imagine why …

    Best wishes on a matter of actual importance, your wife’s full recovery.

  14. I suspect the changing of the headline is either just a regular result of a sub-editor’s whim or, more likely, an obvious reaction to new information. The five blog posts before the two you report on above all use the word “record”:

    “Winter temperature records tumble across Yorkshire”
    “New December temperature record at Leeming”
    “Record breaking Sheffield”
    “Deepest December snow since 1981″ (OK, this one doesn’t but it means the same)
    “Records tumble as winter tightens its grip”

    In the light of these, changing “Coldest December Day on record for some sites” to “Record cold continues” seems harmless enough, particularly as Paul notes in the updated / edited body of the text:

    “Other records may have been set, but we will have to wait for the 24 hour data . . . to confirm this . . . Thanks to the Met Office Observer at Dishforth for clarifying this with me this evening!”.

    This suggests that the original claims he made, while probably correct, were a little premature and, when gently corrected, he updated his blog to reflect that. In that circumstance, that specific change of headline would be appropriate.

  15. OK so let them call it a ‘dead heat’ – then ask them why after 12 years of continually rising CO2 we are only at the same temperature as in 1998 _and_ with cooler oceans.

    Surely this is a falsification of the AGW hypothesis?

  16. Why a 13 month running average is used (or a 25-month one, for that matter)? As temperatures vary with seasons in a 12 month cycle, the natural averaging period should be 12 months, to cancel out seasonal variability. A 13 month cycle is prone to create bias by adding a further month to the current season (for instance, the 13 months from November 2009 to November 2010 includes two Novembers). The bias would reduce or increase the average temperature depending on the season involved. It is perhaps usual meteorological usage, but I wonder.
    On the other hand, running means are usually centred, and this could be a reason for using 13 months: you have 6 months before the centre month, and six afterwards. In that case, however, the 13-month period ending in November 2010 is centred in May, not June. And the table provided by you, Anthony, includes a 12 month (not 13) running average. Thus I keep wondering.

  17. sharper00 says: “…A “dead heat” is defined as…“A political campaign or other contest that is so close that it is impossible to predict the winner.”

    Quite so, sharperoo! This ‘highest temperature on record’ farrago is, as you so rightly point out, a political campaign, and the term ‘dead heat’ would apply. Thank you so much for reminding us once again that this has nothing to do with science and is all about politics.

  18. Did I not read a thread on WUWT half a year ago or more that said Troposphere temps lag surface temps? Maybe Roy Spencer could enlighten us on this. If so, with snow and animals and fishes dying of the cold in Brazil, Ecuador, Argentina, etc, with cold sleety days at the world cup soccer in S Africa, cold and wet in OZ and now record breaking cold in Europe and Russia during 2010, maybe things on the ground are a hell of a lot colder than up in the sky.

  19. As indicated by my red arrow in the magnified view above, the 13 month running average stops in June, 2010, and the months of July, August, September, October, and November apparently aren’t included in it.

    It doesn’t matter, since these months are part of the calculation for the red line. The 13 month running average last point is the average of all months starting from november 2009 till nov 2010. When December gets calculated, a new point in the red line will be calculated from dec 2009 to dec 2010 and it will be rendered to the right of the last red point rendered in the graph shown by you.

    Meaning, the peak of 2010 red line will not change much from what it already is. The best it can do is to go down henceforth.

  20. “I guess somebody didn’t like the original headline and decided it must be changed.”

    This is a political correctness, Anthony ;) The British are more crazy about it than the Germans.

  21. ring ring ring….

    PH: Hello, Hudson here.

    PJ: Hello Paul….. Phil here.

    PH: Oh! Hi Phil, to what do I owe this pleasant surprise?

    PJ: Um, It’s about the, um, current headline on your blog.

    PH: Oh yes, I assume you are talking about the Monday record, amazing, no?

    PJ: Not so much…

    PH: Huh? What do you mean?

    PJ: It doesn’t look good….. can you dial it back a bit?

    PH: Dial it back? What do you mean?

    PJ: You know. Tone down the hyperbole a notch or two. Try a little less sensationalism.

    PH: Wha… What on earth are you talking about? It’s a record for gosh sakes, it real…..

    PJ: Paul, Paul calm down now…. you like your job, am I right?

  22. CRU, UAH and RSS will have 1998 slightly warmer than 2010, GISS will have 2010 as the warmest ever.
    What will the media do? Easy to answer.
    Why is GISS different? Easy to answer.

  23. Dec 06, 2010
    Britain is Freezing to Death; Mounting Death Toll in Europe; NYT Changes Headlines to “Extremes”
    Tracey Boles and Lucy Johnston

    Comment by Icecap.us:
    “This makes the likes of Blair, Brown, Holdren, Pachauri and his UN pirates, the enviros, the opportunists in the corporations and empty headed Hollywood ‘stars’ and Washington DC elitist politicans, and all the other wacky warmers and their enablers and cheerleaders in the lamestream media and alarmist blogs MASS MURDERERS. You see the world is awash in energy sources but the enviros and politicans are blocking access and want to push the useless alternative energy schemes which forces up the cost of energy which in the recession with high joblessness increases the number of families in energy poverty”.

    http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog

  24. UAH shows that temperature went up slightly at the end of 1998. It looks like temps are heading down at the end of this year.

    enlargement of end of 1998:

    area from pink rectangle in graph:

    When all the math is done at the end of the year 2010 should end up slightly cooler than 1998. What global warmers are overlooking is that even if 2010 ends up tied with 1998 that still means global warming is not happening. There’s still temperature flattening happening in that case.

  25. The very nature of a single global average will obscure the most important details of weather related changes that have direct and large impacts on regional life. We argue about how green or brown the overall forest color is yet fail to notice that only certain types of trees are changing color.

  26. crosspatch says:
    December 6, 2010 at 3:01 pm
    The profiles for 1998 and 2010 are different. 1998 was a steeper peek and quick fall off while 2010 has been a more gradual rise. It was not as warm but was warm for a longer period of time.

    Not sure about this. It seems to me 1998 was warmer than 2010 in 6 months out of 12. (I am assuming 2010 beats 1998 in December. If not 1998 will have been warmer for longer as well as having higher peaks).

  27. Am I the only one to notice that he SAYS the Met Office rang him up and rang his chimes?

    “Thanks to the Met Office Observer at Dishforth for clarifying this with me this evening.”

    Got the call. Was told to splice them all together rather than use each instrumental record alone, and disappear the Inconvenient Records….

    It’s the SPLICE that is essential to AGW data manipulation. At all times, beware the SPLICE. It’s everywhere…

  28. Anthony wrote in the post:

    Since the temperature continue to drop, when we do finally get the completed 13 month running average for 2010 that includes all temperatures for 2010, Mr. Hudson will discover that red peak in 2010 will have dropped….

    Careful there – The 13 month average actually went up a smidgen. The Nov 2010 anomaly, .38, was added to the average; the Oct 2009 anomaly, .362 was removed.

    The net result was the average rose ever-so-slightly from 0.503 0.504. The next month will retire a 0.498 anomaly so as long as December’s anomaly is less than that, then the average will drop. If things stay at 0.038 for a while, we’d see:

    Month  Anomaly  13 mo avg
       10    0.362         12 mo avg
       11    0.498
       12    0.284
        1    0.648
        2    0.603
        3    0.653
        4    0.501
        5    0.534
        6    0.436
        7    0.489
        8    0.511
        9    0.603           0.510
       10    0.419    0.503  0.515
       11    0.38     0.504  0.505
       12    0.38     0.495  0.513
        1    0.38     0.503  0.491
        2    0.38     0.482  0.472
        3    0.38     0.465  0.449
        4    0.38     0.444  0.439
    

    (The average columns are the month on the line and the 12 or 11 before it.)

    January’s 13 month average and December’s 12 month average would go up from the previous month, but then we’ll be retiring temperatures from the peak of the El Niño, and things will fall even if the global anomaly climbs a bit.

    Presumably people will be doing a 12 month average to report the 2010 average, and December will have to be 0.10°C cooler than November to keep the 12 month average from climbing.

  29. Kev-in-UK:
    The BBC is a sham and should be ignored! – objective reporting on climate has never been one of their strengths –…

    Unfortunately true and not restricted to climate. I began to lose trust when coverage of one of our presidential campaigns referred to Molly Ivans as a ‘presidential historian.’

  30. So 12 years later, we may perhaps break the record by a couple of hundredths of a degree? And that’s “alarming”? Then what will the record be by 2100, a tenth of a degree more than now? OMG.

  31. All very interesting from a statistical point of view but I would have preferred to see surface “skin” temperatures.
    Not sure if we have land skin Ts but we do have sea skin Ts and they look decidedly cool everywhere with the exception of some warm patches mainly in the Atlantic. How does that compare to say 1998?

    Am I wrong in thinking that in the context of AGW, skin Ts are more relevant?
    Any T readings, be it ~1.5mtrs above the ground in the case of stevenson screens or higher up in the case of satellites may be polluted with local weather conditions.

  32. I live in East Yorkshire where Paul Hudson gives the local forecast. Reports from a couple of colleagues tell me about day time temperatures of -12 degrees Celsius on their way to York. Now I know these measurements are only from car thermometers but they are showing several degrees colder than Paul is telling us. Where are his sensors sited? I am sure Paul isn’t changing the temperatures but just to let people here know that it is even colder than Paul’s article suggests.

  33. All 5 Yorkshire weather stations are in the lowlands, while most of the population live in the cities up from there. They are geographically close to each other in England’s largest counties. The 4 (no longer 3, sigh) counties have plenty of hills and I live in the hillier bits. There can be significant short term differences in temperature. Today the weather stations went down to -15 or more with fog, while we had cloud cover and light (not forecast) snow. We are about 15 kilometres from Dishforth, 35 from Topcliffe and 40 from Leeming (which is the station allocated to our postcode in the BBC forecasts). In fact we normally only get snow when it is not forecast for us. A mini example of the problems of averaging, weather modelling and forecasting. Maybe the expert commenters can tell me if this has any local or general significance. Well beyond me as a casual observer of this website, I’m afraid.

    But keep up the blogging, Paul. Always more interesting than the other BBC forecasters.

  34. I agree the BBC’s articles can sometimes stretch the idea of ‘impartiality’ – which is something the Beeb regard as a strength. On occasion I do email their reporters, especially Richard Black, and to be fair he does respond in kind after I pick him up on his subjective article writing and choice of headlines.

    At the same time, something the BBC cannot erase from history are Live comments made especially on their News24 channel. Last year I recall an infamous exchange when Peter Sissons (one of their newsreaders) challenged someone over what the temperature record actually shows us over the past 15 years – I think Peter is most obviously at the least very open minded on the subject and does speak his own thoughts, as he kept pointing out to the guy there had been no new warming!

    Now, yesterday there was another interesting exchange on BBC Breakfast sometime between 8 and 10 – I’m sure iPlayer still has a record of it. They were interviewing Jay Wyn (BBC Weather presenter) and at the same time reading out comments sent in from people. The News presenters picked him up on some people are saying “Where are all the Global Warming scientists now hiding who usually roll out to tell us the Mild Winters we usually have are all down o global warming” – Jay looked a bit put out TBH and sort of Hmm and Rrrr’d. The presenters then went on ask more questions people had emailed such as “Where are all the Milder and Wetter Winters we are now told to expect” – Again Jay looked very awkward and even the News presenters said “I know you might not want to get involved in some of these political issues” – Again Jay sort of frowned and said We would have to review what we may have got wrong, then sort of quickly rephrased what he said and mentioned some scientists say we would have a Colder period before it got Warmer again. An interesting comment I thought! I think Jay was very put out by some of the questions, and may be a little off guard!

    Anyway, I must try and dig out the footage, as it was only y’day and the above is what I recalled from memory – so unless the Beeb have edited their iPlayer recording there is a prime example of how some of these important issues are infact aired on the BBC – generally in the regime of ‘Live’ interviews which are rather harder to control than a BBC Web article which can be changed.

    I’ll post the link later when I search out the relevant footage on y’days exchange.

  35. Paul Hudson is my local weatherman. A really likeable cheeky, chirpy chap with a big sense of fun.

    It’s great to see he has carried on his tradition of writing stories his employers have to scramble around and re-spin. They dare not sack him, he’s a Yorkshire housewive’s icon. There would be a riot, with frying pans being waved around. :)

  36. Scotland is at a virtual standstill today, people stuck overnight or spending virtually all day getting home have barely seen a gritter on many major roads and most minor roads haven’t seen one for weeks.

    The Met office forecast on Sunday was for “fog” … I know because I checked the forecast on Sunday afternoon before I removed the tarpaulin and snow from a flat roof to do some work on it this week.

    And the BBC are being their usual sycophant to the abysmal Met Office forecasts we get in Scotland (typified by the way Scotland hardly features on BBC met Office weather maps) and the pro-global-warming nonsense BBC can’t see their own part in this fiasco in pushing the “it’s going to get warmer … children won’t know what snow is” rubbish.

    Come on if, the BBC had an ounce of sense, they’d realise that if even a fraction of the 1billion we are spending on foreign made wind mincers were spent on snow ploughs then we wouldn’t be at a standstill today after a mere couple of inches of snow!

  37. I really do question the validity (or even accuracy) of satellite measurements of troposphere temperatures. How do we determine whether tropospheric temperatures mean anything as far as “climate” is concerned? Does the exhaust temperature of my car bear any relationship to the temperature inside the passenger compartment?

    And whoever controls the temperature sensing algorithms used by the satellites therefore controls the temperature (think of Apple’s re-calibration of the iPhone’s signal strength indicator for a perfect example of conning everybody).

    I have very strong memories of the UK summer of 1998 which was swelteringly hot (by UK standards) and I do not recall extremely cold winters at the start and end of the year. Contrast that with 2010 with extermely cold first and last quarters, and a mediocre summer in the middle.

    2010 as hot as 1998? Don’t make me laugh.

  38. I think the lessor spotted global warming is going extinct.

    The last one was allegedly seen on Antarctica, in the dump, but verification assured us it was a completely different species, aptly named by it’s discoverer, globum Mc Coolium

  39. Winter Dec to Feb inclusive in Britain and
    Europe will be exceptionally cold and snowy –
    like hell frozen over at times – with much of
    England, Germany, Benelux and N France
    suffering one of the coldest winters for over 100
    years. It is expected that two of the three months

    Dec, Jan & Feb are likely to be in the three coldest
    for a 100 years (eg using Central England Temperatures).
    There will be some milder periods in which West
    Russia may also be briefly milder. Ireland, especially
    West Ireland will have some mild periods when the
    rest of Europe remains bitterly cold.

    http://www.weatheraction.com/docs/WANews10No37.pdf

  40. Your criticism of the UAH 13 month average being out of date is unfortunately incorrect. It is calculated over the 13 month period November 2009 to November 2010, but it is plotted at the central point, i.e. May 2009 (not June as you state). This is in keeping with the traditional (some would say more correct) practice of plotting the moving average at the central point, rather than at the end of the period, hence the use of a 13 month average, rather than a more useful 12 month average. Personally I think that this practice is now outmoded and more likely to cause confusion, as in this case. On the other hand, you are correct in stating that some sources are jumping the gun in their comparisons of 2010 with 1998. For example the U.K. Met. Office has recently published a news release in which they claim that the “preliminary” anomaly for 2010 is 0.52c, “equal to the record breaking 1998″, while only using figures up to October. However, even if the anomalies for November and December are the same as October, the final anomaly for 2010 would be only 0.48c, compared to the Met. Office figure of 0.517c and the C.R.U. figure of 0.548c for 1998. The reason why the C.R.U. figure is different (higher) than the Met. Office figure is that it is calculated using the monthly averages, not the more complex method used by the Met. Office, so there are actually two different annual figures for 1998 (and most years) despite the fact that the monthly figures are identical.

  41. Deborah says:
    December 7, 2010 at 12:20 am

    I wondered that too – certainly at disforth and topcliffe temps have been in the minus double figures or minus teens. But it seems the reported temps are averages?

  42. Let’s see…
    How many temperature reporting station were there is 1998?
    And how many are their now?
    If there are far less now, then their is an error in how many actual record fell.

  43. Nylo says: {December 6, 2010 at 8:55 pm}
    “So 12 years later, we may perhaps break the record by a couple of hundredths of a degree? And that’s “alarming”? Then what will the record be by 2100, a tenth of a degree more than now? OMG.”

    The “record” that was “broken” was the anomaly using the base period of 1979 -1998.
    Take it with a grain of salt.

  44. From the Met Office New blog – Cold records tumbling…

    Did Paul mention -20.4 C

    The coldest temperature overnight was -20.4 °C at Braemar in Aberdeenshire

    http://metofficenews.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/loca

    Overnight Records 2/3 December Previous record
    -17.9 °C LEEMING 07-01-1970 (-15.0°C)
    -17.3 °C LINTON ON OUSE 14-02-1991 (-14.2°C)
    -17.5 °C CHURCH FENTON 14-02-1991 (-15.2°C)
    -10.4 °C INVERBERVIE NO.2 29-12-1995 (-8.1°C)
    -12.8 °C SPADEADAM 04-03-2001 (-12.7°C)
    -12.6 °C DISHFORTH AIRFIELD 21-12-1963 (-10.0°C)
    -11.7 °C YEOVILTON 29-12-1964 (-10.0°C)
    – 7.8 °C SHOEBURYNESS 15-12-1991 (-5.8°C)
    – 6.0 °C ST BEES HEAD NO.2 28-12-1995 (-5.8°C)
    – 7.5 °C HERSTMONCEUX 31-12-1996 (-5.3°C)
    – 9.1 °C KENLEY AIRFIELD 20-12-1999 (-6.5°C)
    – 5.2 °C LANGDON BAY 20-12-1999 (-4.5°C)
    – 6.0 °C SOLENT 20-12-1999 (-5.0°C)
    -14.7 °C SHAP 31-12-2003 (-11.4°C)
    – 5.3 °C CARDINHAM, BODMIN 28-12-2005 (-4.5°C)

    Met Office News Blog

  45. Deborah says:
    December 7, 2010 at 12:20 am

    “I live in East Yorkshire where Paul Hudson gives the local forecast. Reports from a couple of colleagues tell me about day time temperatures of -12 degrees Celsius on their way to York.”

    Interesting. Outside my house in NE derbyshire my car indicated -9.5c. As I drove downhill into derby road the reading continued to drop down to -16c. These figures are a lot lower than the bbc forecast low, which was -7c and a lot lower than the so called record at dishforth, which is further north. Sounds mighty suspicious to me.

  46. I don’t see what the big deal is. The change in headline didn’t change the facts in the story, and wasn’t significant as a change in wording. It is much ado about nothing.

    Regarding the second half of the story, the fact is, that the peak of the 13 month average temperature, is as high in 2010 as a previous peak was in 1998. This is the case despite the fact that 1998 saw an extremely strong El Nino, and was about halfway up the solar cycle, while 2010 saw the start of a La Nina cycle and is still at the bottom of a solar cycle, and has been there for nearly 2 years.. So 2010 is surprisingly warm for a year where the solar cycle and El Nino cycle are both in a phase that promotes cooler surface temperatures.
    Hudson’s blog points out these important facts.
    People who are suspicious about why the 13 month moving average is being used should ask Roy Spencer, who is the principal researcher responsible for the UAH data about why he did this. Roy is a prominent global warming skeptic.

  47. I live just outside Tockwith in the Vale of York.
    My dad ‘s car also has one of those thermometers.
    At 9am on Monday he gave me a lift to Wetherby.
    The diesel vehicle was slow to start and it recorded -15 as the temperature.
    When we got to Wetherby where it recorded -13 as the outside temperature.
    He says when he later drove into the centre of Tockwith village, as opposed to outside the village where we live, the temperature dropped to -16c.

  48. If it weren’t for comparatively high moisture content aloft I’m thinking this would be a very average year, global tempwise.

    Where I sit it’s shaping up to be below norm(and sadly I’m below weight) this winter.

  49. O/T a bit, but I found this part of our wonderful metoffice forecast for NE England on their website just now:
    This Evening and Tonight:
    Temperatures will fall away rapidly this evening with another severe widespread frost likely. Towns and cities will fall to minus 4 or 5 Celsius but in the countryside and over high ground temperatures will be much lower. Minimum temperature -10 °C

    Is this – or is this not – a confirmation of a significant UHI effect? Taking it at face value, the UHI could be as much as 5degC – but that probably covers the mentioned high ground (hereabouts that would only be perhaps 500m) and yet amazingly, parts of the Vale of York (perhaps max 50m in height?) will be around minus 15degC tonight!

  50. Kev-in-UK ,
    Under certain conditions, cold air, which is heavier, rolls down into the valleys and produces lower than average temperatures. I believe, for example that the agricultural college at Houghall, is subject to that phenomenon. On the other hand, I agree about the UHI. I know that they are taken into account, to an exent, in the global temperature figures, but is that just when the temperatures sensors are actually in urban areas, or is any consideration given to “radiation” from the UHI into the countryside?

  51. From the UK Sunday Times newspaper, 05 December:

    No respite from grip of the snow queen

    “We have now reached -18C, or below, in five calendar months this year somewhere in the UK – January, February, March, November and December. This has never happened before in records dating back to the 90th century.”

    [Section 1, p37, Weather. Isobel Lang]

  52. Paul Hudson has updated the blog entry with an update:

    UPDATE at 3pm
    I can now confirm that Leeming in North Yorkshire had its coldest December day on record yesterday at minus 6.6C.

    Last night Scampton in Lincolnshire recorded its coldest December night on record, with minus 15.6C. This beats the previous record which was set….last week!

    ENDS

    UPDATE at 7am
    Some will have noticed last night I changed some of the contents of this blog. The observer at Dishforth realised we had confused daytime maximum temperature records between 0900hrs and 2100hrs with the records that apply to the 24 hour time period ending 9am this morning, and until that time period is up we will not know if the sites originally mentioned have established new records.

    ENDS

  53. They can’t continue to “hide the decline”. I believe we had MAXIMUM temps of minus 12 C in Glasgow today. Disappear THAT.

  54. Ray says:
    December 7, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    not sure I can believe that about Houghall (I assume you mean the College?) – which I know well – Firstly, its next to Durham Uni, where i did my masters many years ago, and also where I lectured on a couple of occasions to the arborists. Its near to river level, but hardly a massive height difference from surrounding topography.

    Of course, you are right to consider that cold air will ‘settle’ in valleys, but you should know (I hope) that the ‘Vale of York’, is more of a generic term being a very wide area rather than a small steep sided valley!
    As for UHI adjustments – has anyone seen a RAW data temp series for somewhere like London (Greewich Observatory or the Royal Society) and thereafter the ‘homogenised’ station data e.g. as used by Hadcrut3? If they have, please let me know, cos I’d like to have a look at it – just to see how much UHI has been accounted for. However, I suspect you or I will never see this data – it’ll be some of the stuff Jones has lost! LOL

  55. Veronica says:
    December 7, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    ah, but thats the point Veronica – you believe thats what you have had in Glasgow – that will almost certainly disappear after data corrections (ok, lets be posh and call it homogenisation!)! LOL

  56. Kev-in-UK says:
    “not sure I can believe that about Houghall (I assume you mean the College?) – which I know well – Firstly, its next to Durham Uni, where i did my masters many years ago, and also where I lectured on a couple of occasions to the arborists. Its near to river level, but hardly a massive height difference from surrounding topography.”
    There was an item on “Look North”, I think at the end of last winter, on the subject, in which they said it was prone to such frosts. Not sure if I have a copy, but if I do, I will post any relevant quotes.
    In relation to the Vale of York, I suppose it depends on precisely where the low temps. are expected.

  57. eadler says:
    December 7, 2010 at 9:13 am

    I agree with some of your points.
    Frankly, I don’t really see how ANY moving average calculation can be used in preference to another? I would assume that a 13mth average is used to account for slight fluctuations in seasons (early winters, later summers, etc) but I know diddly squat about stats. Why are 5yr or 11yr moving averages used? etc, etc… All averages have a smoothing effect of course, but I sometimes wonder why they are picked at all!.
    I look at the headline warmest year rubbish by the metoffice et al – and cannot reconcile their claims with my local experience and knowledge – so I assume it is down to the averaging across the county, or country, or continent!
    Based on the limited understanding I have; this means (excuse the pun) that we have a daily average (max-min) used to create a monthly average used/mixed/averaged with other averages to create a regional (gridded?) average used to create a NH average – which is then used to create a global average – have I got that right?

    OK – so we then take that data and process it using an 11 yr moving average – yes? – so how many years of GOOD and RELIABLE data would we need to establish a realistic baseline average? Lets say it’s a 100 yr solar cycle (just for example) – we would need at least 120 yrs of (good, reliable?) data to ‘see’ that represented over our ‘long term’ plot. Do we have this? I think not!
    and finally, adding in any unknown (as yet, and I am sure there are many – for flips sake, they cannot even agree on the effect of clouds after all this time!) reason for climate variation – I find it quite incredulous that the anthropogenic CO2 hypothesis can be upheld as the sole/primary cause of any measured (from the averages) warming. Perhaps CO2 does play an important role – but it is just impossible to prove how or why at this time.

    I have taken a local stations data for the last 8 years and see absolutely no warming – if I knew how to put up the plot in a post I would – but the fact remains that locally, there is absolutely NO warming, probably a very slight cooling.

    I just find it quite strange to stand back and reflect (without emotion or viewpoint) on what data we have and what we are trying to do with said data. When you consider the very basic processes used to obtain data and analyse it – and then consider the vast bio/ecosystem that constitutes planet Earth – surely our ‘data’ and knowledge pales into the level of ridicule!

  58. Ray says:
    December 7, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    yeah, that would be interesting. I don’t know if the Observatory (perhaps a mile away) was used for met data, but if it was, it would be interesting to compare data from the two. Off the top of my head, I’d say the Obs would be maybe 50m higher than the college. Is Houghall a recording station? Hmm.. I might look into that one day.

  59. Typo above, sorry. Should be:

    “We have now reached -18C, or below, in five calendar months this year somewhere in the UK – January, February, March, November and December. This has never happened before in records dating back to the 19th century.”

  60. It was very cold in Lincoln yesterday which is near Waddington ,Lincolnshire .I am not surprised that we have broken our record for the coldest day in December.The snow is still lying here from last week in many places.I cannot see that climate here has changed very much in the last fifty years,even when we don’t get washout summers but get sunshine instead it still does not get extremely warm yet we are getting low temperatures which are equal or lower than temperatures fifty years ago.
    I think that it is time to give up on the AGW scam.

  61. I have just been looking at this months Central England Temperature, relative to Met. Office “normal” figures and past years. Not only is the current mean CET about 7c lower than the normal mean, but it is actually about 4.4c lower than the normal MINIMUM for the same time of the month. In fact, the latest cumulative MAXIMUM CET is about 1.4c below the normal MINIMUM for this point. Also, the cumulative MAXIMUM CET is about 0.1c below the actual cumulative MINIMUM CET FOR 1890 at this point. The significance of that is that 1890 is the coldest December on record according to CET. However, 1890 did get a lot colder during the latter part of the month.

  62. I notice some references to temperature differences in and around Durham, England, in particular Houghall college. I recall that there is a reference to this and some statistics in the classic Gordon Manley book ‘Climate and the British Scene’. I am away from home at the moment so can’t check

  63. LOL! Only just seen this. What a joke. The BBC have not pulled anything! This was not a news story, it was a personal blog – and if Paul Hudson decides to amend the title of a blog entry he’s quite within his rights to do so, as indeed am I and Anthony.

    That said, it’s not uncommon for media outlets to change news headlines to reflect new or more current information on major breaking stories.

  64. So let me get this straight.

    You are suggesting that changing the original headline (something which happens constantly in both print and internet journalism as stories develop, or new people take over responsibility for the story) and replacing it with a snappier, more easily accessible headline that explicitly mentions ‘record cold’, is evidence of BBC duplicity?

    There are a number of posters on this thread raising the issue of objectivity.

    Have they stopped to consider the emotive nature of the language used in your post – language that suggests a headline mentioning “record cold” is evidence of AGW bias on the part of the BBC – and wondered where the real manipulation lies?

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