The Met Office ‘secret’ prediction and the political implications

The UK Met Office

Guest Post by Barry Woods

In The Telegraph (UK newspaper), it was reported that Roger Harrabin, an environment analyst at the BBC, told the Radio Times:

“The trouble is that we simply don’t know how much to trust the Met Office. How often does it get the weather right and wrong. And we don’t know how it compares with other, independent forecasters.” – The Telegraph

Boris Johnson – The Mayor of London, is arguably perhaps the most democratically personally elected politician in the UK. As over 1.1 million London voters voted for him directly for the elected office of Mayor. This is compared to a UK Member of Parliament, who might win their seat with as little as 20,000 votes. In many seats, if you wore the right party badge a ‘mascot’ might get elected. Whilst the public are voting for a person, it is the party they represent that is being voted for.

In my opinion, no other Conservative candidate could have won that election to become Mayor, at a time (May 2008) when the Labour Party were still very much in power in the UK. Boris Johnson won peoples votes despite him being a Conservative for many members of the public that voted for him.

Thus, for a high profile Conservative like Boris to write glowingly about (arch sceptic) Piers Corbyn and criticise the Met Office, is in my opinion very significant politically in the UK. Especially in light of the fact that Boris wrote this before the Met Office started denying they had predicted mild winters and before their ‘secret’ prediction statement.

Boris Johnson cares whether London (including Heathrow airport) and himself is made to look bad in the eyes of a world audience. I wonder what Boris thinks about the Met Office ‘secret’ prediction?

As Boris is in the position of power, knowing whether or not London and Heathrow received the ‘secret’ warning’.

As the UK government, Heathrow airport particularly, were woefully under-prepared AGAIN this winter, the big budget UK taxpayer-funded Met Office have finally moved from being a laughing-stock, into surely a public enquiry by that ‘secret’ statement. In the time of recession, big budget organisations like the Met Office have to be seen to be performing, not acting in the public’s eyes as a global warming campaigning lobby group.

This time politicians have been publicly embarrassed by the Met Office.

In the Sunday Telegraph today, Christopher Booker calls the Met Office to account:

” First it was a national joke. Then its professional failings became a national disaster. Now, the dishonesty of its attempts to fight off a barrage of criticism has become a real national scandal. I am talking yet again of that sad organisation the UK Met Office, as it now defends its bizarre record with claims as embarrassingly absurd as any which can ever have been made by highly-paid government officials.” – Christopher Booker

Anybody in the age of the internet can now check on anything a public body or advocate has said, the politicians and journalists are only slowly becoming aware of this in my opinion. The Global Warming Policy Foundation has also publicly written to the Transport Secretary calling for an enquiry. On the board of the GWPF there are respected senior UK politicians, on the GWPF Academic Advisory Panel there are very well respected scientists including:

Professor Robert Carter, Professor Freeman Dyson, Professor Richard Lindzen, Professor Philip Stott, Professor Ross Mckitrick, Professor Paul Reiter, Professor Ian Plimer & Professor Hal Lewis

This issue will be he heard and will be discussed privately in the corridors of power.

For one particular high profile politician like Boris Johnson to have moved publicly even as far as he goes in the following,  demonstrates that the CAGW ‘political game has changed’ permanently in the UK.

Before the Copenhagen Conference (Cop 15) – Boris Johnson, the Conservative Mayor of London (formerly the  Conservative Member of Parliament for Henley-on-Thames – my local town), wrote dismissively of the Climategate emails in the Telegraph;

“That is why the polls show such an amazingly obstinate public refusal to accept the reality of global warming. That is why there is still a market for thermoscepticism of all kinds. That is why people seize on a few stray emails from the University of East Anglia which seem – wrongly – to undermine the scientific case.” – Boris Johnson

At the time Boris was fully behind the Labour Prime Minister, who went off to Copenhagen, stating ’50 Days to Save the Planet’, and spoke about ‘Flat-earthers’, ‘anti-science climate sceptics’. The Minister of State for the Department of Energy And Climate Change, ED Milliband (now the Labour Party leader, in opposition) apparently thinking calling CAGW sceptics  ‘saboteurs’ was appropriate at the time all UK political parties were convinced that environmental ‘climate change’ policies were a vote winner,  a UK General Election was possibly weeks, at most a few weeks away.

This year, we have a new government in the UK after 13 years of AGW consensus, a Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition, Boris is still mayor of London, and this week, he writes glowingly about Piers Corbyn (Weather Action) out predicting the Met Office.  Piers is a total CAGW sceptic, behind the recent Climate Fools day – House of Commons meeting.  For Boris Johnson to write publicly positively about Piers and criticizing the government-funded, Met Office, demonstrates how much things have changed.  Boris Johnson, despite his slightly buffoonish comical genial image is nobody’s fool, serving prominently as a conservative politician for so long is evidence of that alone.

Telegraph: The man who repeatedly beats the Met Office at its own game, by Boris Johnson

“Piers Corbyn not only predicted the current weather, but he believes things are going to get much worse, says Boris Johnson.

“….It is no use my saying that London Underground and bus networks are performing relatively well – touch wood – when Heathrow, our major international airport, is still effectively closed two days after the last heavy snowfall; when substantial parts of our national rail network are still struggling; when there are abandoned cars to be seen on hard shoulders all over the country; and when yet more snow is expected today, especially in the north.”

“….So let me seize this brief gap in the aerial bombardment to pose a question that is bugging me. Why did the Met Office forecast a “mild winter”?

“…Piers Corbyn works in an undistinguished office in Borough High Street. He has no telescope or supercomputer. Armed only with a laptop, huge quantities of publicly available data and a first-class degree in astrophysics, he gets it right again and again.Back in November, when the Met Office was still doing its “mild winter” schtick, Corbyn said it would be the coldest for 100 years. Indeed, it was back in May that he first predicted a snowy December, and he put his own money on a white Christmas about a month before the Met Office made any such forecast. He said that the Met Office would be wrong about last year’s mythical “barbecue summer”, and he was vindicated. He was closer to the truth about last winter, too.”

Boris Johnson went on to say that man-made co2 is still a cause of global warming, according to an overwhelming majority of scientists,  James Delingpole of the Telegraph summaries Boris’ current dilemma more eloquently than I in his blog.

“So what sounds like a fervent declaration of faith in the Warmist creed may on closer examination be a perfectly innocuous statement of the bleeding obvious cunningly calculated to appease all Boris’s rent-seeking chums in the City who stand to make a fortune from the Great Carbon Scam and would be most displeased if the Mayor of London were to show signs of wobbling.

Yet wobbling is, of course, exactly what Boris is doing. Or rather – remember, this is the man so ambitious he makes Alexander The Great look like Olive from On The Buses – he is slyly repositioning himself to take advantage of the inevitable collapse of public faith in the Great Anthropogenic Global Warming Ponzi Scheme.” – James Delingpole

If the politicians think trouble is ahead, they back the winners, not only has the Met Office predictions of mild winter been wrong three winters in the row, they have been SEEN to be wrong, there was plenty of mainstream press coverage before the harsh winters that other forecaster were predicting a severe winter.  Following the last years mild winter prediction by the Met Office, there was even BBC coverage debating whether their very expensive super computer had a ‘warm bias’ which was wildly reported in the mainstream media in the UK.

BBC – A frozen Britain turns the heat up on the Met office – Paul Hudson

Could the model, seemingly with an inability to predict colder seasons, have developed a warm bias, after such a long period of milder than average years? Experts I have spoken to tell me that this certainly is possible with such computer models. And if this is the case, what are the implications for the Hadley centre’s predictions for future global temperatures? Could they be affected by such a warm bias? If global temperatures were to fall in years to come would the computer model be capable of forecasting this?

The Met Office (Hadley Centre) is an interconnected part of the UK Climate Science establishment. In the UK we have not just had a cold winter but the second coldest December on record, and the coldest winter on record. The UK CET record actually means something (not just a 30 year satellite record) the Central England Temperature (CET) dataset, goes back to the 1660′s. Again all this information, is now in the mainstream media with headlines including ‘mini ice age’ and ‘coldest winter in 300 years’  read by millions of members of the general public.

BBC – December 2010 Update – Second Coldest since 1659 – Paul Hudson

[For the uninitiated: (Mean cet data) = Central England Temperature dataset, more here]

There are two possibilities now.

1.) If the Met office are telling the truth.

Then the  government failed to prepare or warn public bodies about what is now the SECOND coldest December in the UK since records began.  London Heathrow was publicly embarrassed and closed for days as it could not handle a few inches of snow, it had only invested an additional £500,000 in de-icing equipment and the government apparently stepped into help ensure fresh supplies reached the airport.  The lack of readiness for the snow will have had an effect on the UK economy. No doubt all this negative publicity shown by the media around the world, billions of pound in the economy and possibly risking future billions of foreign inwards investment, as London appears to be as organised as an undeveloped nation.  I imagine some corporations, passengers, or airlines might want to sue.

There is even, also some suspicion that if this was the case, it was kept quiet because predictions of the coldest winter in the UK for decades would be a bit awkward for the Energy and Climate Change Secretary of State flying off to the man-made global warming, climate change, global climate disruption, future climate breakdown Cop 15 Cancun conference.

2.) If the Met Office are NOT telling the truth

If the Met Office are shall we say, spinning a line, to make out they are not useless at predicting the weather, then I imagine even the dimmest politician and non-questioning ‘investigative’ journalists might start asking what exactly is the Met Office for.

Bishop Hill and other blogs report that Freedom of Information request are being sent off for these ‘ so called ‘secret’ Met Office predictions made to the government.

After all it must be true, the BBC’s Roger Harrabin reported it?

I wonder if the BBC have thought to send any FOI requests in themselves, just to check the facts of this story. The BBC just renewed a 5 year contract with the Met Office to provide all the weather forecasting for the BBC.  The BBC surely does not want to look as if it is being lax in its investigative journalism? If only to check that the service provided to the BBC by the Met Office is competent and can be trusted, as it is taxpayers money paying for this service.

“The trouble is that we simply don’t know how much to trust the Met Office.”  – BBC Roger Harrabin, from the Telegraph

I’d like to wish a  belated Happy New Year from RealClimategate.org to all readers of Watts Up With That.

Thanks again to Anthony Watts for indulging my thoughts from the UK

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106 thoughts on “The Met Office ‘secret’ prediction and the political implications

  1. Would it be too much to ask the guest posters to spell-check their articles before posting them?

  2. Seriously, guys, how hard is it to run these exposes through a spell checker? It tarnishes an otherwise good article.

    Mark

  3. This mostly interesting post was undermined by the numerous typos—which likewise undermine the reputation of WUWT. Some proofreading, please, before posting.

    REPLY: There were a few genuine typos, now fixed. but some of it is simply the Kings English. Mr. Woods is from Britain – Anthony

  4. Those magnificent folk and their lying machines,
    They lie up diddley up-up, they lie down diddley down-down!

    Newton would think he had made a mistake!
    To see those Met folk and the chances they take!

  5. I still can’t help but think that we are seeing what happens when the “acedemic elite” have dug themselves a hole they can’t spin their way out of.

    What happens when “97%” of climate scientists were wrong?

    They jumped in with both feet blindly, and then made it worse by attacking everyone else and calling them stupid.

    Do they really have any choice now?

    So many careers have been based around CO2 warming. There are people who would find their entire professional legacy thrown away if CO2 was downgraded in climate. They are acting exactly like people who now have nothing to lose and that is exactly what they are. Not just the scientists, but Environmentalists and maybe Socialists too. They all bet all their eggs on this one basket.

    It will take science a while to recover from what has been done in its name. Too bad cause it has nothing to do with science.

  6. John Hirst [Met Office Chief Executive]
    “He says the strain of being “under the microscope all of the time” is tempered by the knowledge that his organisation is providing a “fantastic” service. “Most private sector [companies] would kill for the scientific understanding and intellctual property we have in this organisation. ”

    http://www.director.co.uk/ONLINE/2010/01_10_MetOffice.html

    /sarc on/
    Accuweather and Weatheraction must envy the Met Office this winter.
    /sarc off/

  7. Honestly Grandpa – I love pendantry as much as the next man, but surely you don’t let a few spelling mistakes distract you from the content?

  8. Thanks Boris Johnson for a new word: “thermoscepticism”. Can we now call warmists “thermists”?

  9. Is that the distant sound of a gurgler and the Met Office and other exploiters are caught on the edge of the funnel, spiralling doewn.

  10. Typo:
    “Their is even, also some suspicion”

    There is even, also some suspicion”

    REPLY: Thanks, missed that one. Now fixed. -A

  11. Hi Barry.
    An excellent article that spells out the underhanded manipulations at the Met Office and the sneaky UK government both Conservative, Labour and Liberal, What it shows is just how devious the AGW climate lobby and scientist really are and how little our politician care for the well being of the people or the economy. The same goes for every western country in the world with the possible exception of Canada, at least for now. They are all a devious corrupt group of con men masquerading as caring for the environment; it really is beyond the pale!

  12. The graph “COLDEST DECEMBERS SINCE 1659 (mean cet data)”
    has figures from -0.8 to +0.3
    Please explain what these figures are.
    All graphs should be properly labelled.
    What is “cet data”?

    REPLY: As a regular reader I thought you’d know this, “Central England Temperature”, the longest running dataset. But for the uninitiated, I’ll add that description. – Anthony

  13. If only it was just spelling: Ungrammatical run-on sentences, wretched syntax, incoherent streams-of-(semi)consciousness… points come across, but on elementary levels unworthy of serious debate.

    Since when has good, plain English been construed as pedantry?

  14. “Or, if only to check that the service provided to the BBC by the Met Office is competent and can be trusted, it is taxpayers money paying for this service.”

    For those who are unaware there is a license fee paid by owners of television sets. Currently £145.50 for a colour licence and £49.00 for a black-and-white. In October 2010 it was announced that the licence fee would be frozen for the next 6 years.

    What I want to know is have the BBC opted for the Met Offices seasonal forecasts? If so were they told about the unusually cold winter? If yes then why did the BBC not warn the people of the UK?

  15. PS, I thought the people who complained about spelling were petty minded, a few spelling mistakes do not detract from the meat of the article.

    [But, "Do not detract" may still become "Does distract" ... 8<) Robt]

  16. John Blake says:
    January 9, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Since when has good, plain English been construed as pedantry?

    Especially when it comes from an Englishman too.. I mean I can accept a few typos from the Americans, but from and Englishman it is tantamount to blasphemy! ;-)

  17. The UKMO is doing its primary job extremely well, it has a core responsibility to support,protect and progress government and establishment political interests and in these roles the UKMO has been hugely successful for years.

    If the political establishment wanted us to believe that the climate was altered by North Korean agents in association with the troll kingdom then the UKMO would be pimping that narrative and using conduits and stooges like the SEJ to do it.

    The UKMO is a political entity, it owes its generous funding and existence to the political establishment, both are bound together. The UKMO like other national institutions have been carefully subverted over the years to become merely a political tool to support and disseminate establishment propaganda.

    We think of the UKMO as it once was years ago, it is simply and clearly not what it was at all, if you try to judge the UKMO in terms of weather forecasting and meteorology services then it is a dismal failure HOWEVER if you judge the UKMO on its true political role then it has been extremely effective and influential, it has supported and enhanced possibly the worst scientific theory since phlogiston and made millions trust and believe these lies and deceptions with a coherent and expert skill that would have made uncle Joe and Goebbels applaud.

  18. I’m still trying to come to grips with this one:

    The Global Warming Policy Foundation has also publicly written to the Transport Secretary calling for an enquiry, on the board of the GWPF there are respected politicians and scientists, this issue will be he heard and discussed privately in the corridors of power.

    Do you mean:
    The Global Warming Policy Foundation has also publicly written to the Transport Secretary calling for an enquiry. Unfotunately on the board of the GWPF there are respected politicians and scientists, so this issue will only be heard and discussed privately in the corridors of power.

    Or was it something else you meant to say?

    For pity’s sake, could people please spell check, grammar check, and then re-read their own articles for coherency before submitting them?

    It’s honestly not that hard people…

    REPLY:
    You make an excellent point with your addition of the word “Unfotuantely”.

    - Anthony

  19. Ted Gray says:
    January 9, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    PS, I thought the people who complained about spelling were petty minded, a few spelling mistakes do not detract from the meat of the article.

    They are just rude.

  20. Brandon Caswell says:
    January 9, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    So many careers have been based around CO2 warming. There are people who would find their entire professional legacy thrown away if CO2 was downgraded in climate. They are acting exactly like people who now have nothing to lose and that is exactly what they are. Not just the scientists, but Environmentalists and maybe Socialists too. They all bet all their eggs on this one basket.

    I believe that this is exactly what is going on at the moment. We probably had 30 odd years of mostly natural warming (which has always happened) which coincided with Dr. James Hansen’s prediction of warming. Now it looks like we have peaked and are heading down. During that time the ‘Thermists’ were convinced by the obvious ‘evidence’ so threw their lot in with Thermageddon. Panick and fairy tales has now set in. See the recent paper that now says global warming causes colder northern hemisphere winters as opposed to classic AGW which made it quite clear that global warming would lead to milder northern hemisphere winters. Lies, damded lie and climate scientists.

    References:
    June 4, 1999
    Warm Winters Result From Greenhouse Effect, Columbia Scientists Find, Using NASA Model” [Gavin Schmidt et al]

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990604081638.htm

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v399/n6735/abs/399452a0.html

    March 2000
    Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html

    —————————
    Nov. 17, 2010
    Global Warming Could Cool Down Northern Temperatures in Winter

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101117114028.htm

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2009JD013568

    December 2010
    “Expect more extreme winters thanks to global warming, say scientists”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/expect-more-extreme-winters-thanks-to-global-warming-say-scientists-2168418.html

  21. Further to my last post should it be published, we must remember that the UKMO is a government propaganda outlet nothing more. You will remember that it was government scientists who published a series of instructions on how to survive a thermonuclear strike by hiding under tables and other assorted rubbish not to mention all the other government sponsored trash spewed out via its stooge outlets over the years. We know that government institutions will tell the baldest lies with a straight face and if caught out will deny it or at most indulge in a rigged stooge led cover up/inquiry.

  22. A publicly funded organisation that repeatedly fails in one of it’s main objectives, keeps information from the public who have funded it and still pays bonuses to it’s staff is a clear indication of something that’s gone horribly wrong and rotten.

    Who will hold them accountable?

  23. Yes, the Brits have been using the Queen’s English since 1953.

    And for those of you who insist on being the grammar police – This is a blog for crying out loud!

    Blogs are not written by Grammarians, with degrees in English Lit – they are written by ordinary folk on laptops and home computers, who only some times use use their spell checkers before posting.

    Spleen vented, now’s the time for the on-topic portion of this reply.

    It seems very odd indeed that at about the same time the Met Office was posting its warm three month “forecast” posting that it would give a “secret” briefing to the PM’s Office telling them the opposite.

    If true, then they have a lot of explaining to do. And no matter what explanation is provided, nobody will believe.

    I can’t see this situation being resolved with anything less than the resignation of the head of the Met Office and likely will go higher.

    It never pays to embarrass your boss.

  24. Not all the spelling mistakes are fixed — it’s ‘saboteurs’. And yes, it does make a difference to the overall professionalism of the blog. We have to overcome the media’s attempt to display us as cranks and crackpots, and one way to help that is to make our presentations — and our comments — as impressive and accessible as we can.

    REPLY: I noted that, but thought it was colloquial, such as the UK spelling of “organisations”. I’ve made the edit to ‘saboteurs’ to keep the pedantic whining down to a minimum. Thanks everybody for the suggestions, but we are moving on. – Anthony

  25. Mr. Watts, as a celebrity scientist, surely you understand the difference between weather and climate. The distinction is so basic that even a layman like me can understand it. If so, why do you host guest contributors who clearly cannot tell the difference? I have to say, it undermines your credibility, but perhaps you have so much credibility you can afford to squander some. Thanks for taking the time from your extensive research to read this.

  26. Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive — Sir Walter Scott

    The question that GB citizens need to ask of the Met and the Cabinet is, “What did you know, and when did you know it.” Hammer that question home every day. Make it clear that all trust is gone, and the proper thing to do now is unravel the lies. Stock up on popcorn and watch the bureaucrats squirm.

  27. [snip we are done with comments about spelling errors, now fixed - move on to something else - Anthony]

  28. *sigh*

    It’s one thing to complain about assorted typos, and he who is without syn may pour fourteen pounds and fill the first mold.

    But when people complain that a certain post “sullies the reputation of the site…” If they got rid of all the posts that someone thinks does that, there wouldn’t be much left!

  29. The BBC says Virgin Air has announced it will not pay its bill to BAA for use of airports over the last winter until an enquiry concerning the inability of the airports to cope with the snow is published probably in March.

    Richard

  30. Don’t forget the Metoff’s night job:

    “We offer a variety of products and services to customers within the financial industry, to help you plan, prepare and function more efficiently. From making sound investment decisions to setting the right premiums for insurance products, an in-depth knowledge of the past, present and future weather can be essential across a range of financial services. As world leaders in weather and climate services, we provide cutting-edge solutions that give our customers a clear advantage. To find out more about our financial services contact our Customer Centre or email consulting@metoffice.gov.uk

    Here’s a public-funded organization that admits it is selling information that gives private customers (not the public) a “clear advantage.” If they told the general population the same information they’re giving private financial institutions, the info would be of no value in a trading market, would it? So the UK sheep get fleeced once to keep Madame Metoffsky’s sideshow in business, then get fleeced again when private companies speculate in climate-sensitive markets using insider information, and yet again when they freeze in their homes and cars and airports. How is this not an extraordinary conflict of interest?

  31. As the author, I have to apologise, I was working on 2 articles and this article was not quite ready to be published, just an un-spellchecked, and needing some polishing, draft.

    I had written and finished an article called – New Scientist – Those Cursed Climate emails -( a quote from there 1st edition of 2011 in the UK).

    It is entirely probable that I marked the wrong article as pending review in WordPress by mistake, and Anthony assumed it was up to my finished standard (ie spell checked/grammar).

  32. As I pointed out on another thread, with a delicious irony the mean average of the first year in the Central England temperature series-from 1659- and the last year in the record- 2010-both came in at a distinctly chilly 8.83C.

    “When icicles hang by the wall
    And Dick the shepherd blows his nail
    And Tom bears logs into the hall,
    And milk comes frozen home in pail,
    When Blood is nipped and ways be foul,
    Then nightly sings the staring owl,
    Tu-who;
    Tu-whit, tu-who: a merry note,
    While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

    When all aloud the wind doth blow,
    And coughing drowns the parson’s saw,
    And birds sit brooding in the snow,
    And Marian’s nose looks red and raw
    When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
    Then nightly sings the staring owl,
    Tu-who;
    Tu-whit, tu-who: a merry note,
    While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

    William Shakespeare

  33. REPLY: There were a few genuine typos, now fixed. but some of it is simply the Kings English. Mr. Woods is from Britain – Anthony

    Therefore the spelling is correct and not a colonial aberration or

    [How did you intend on finishing this thought? Robt]

  34. Hi Barry

    Good summary, I hadn’t really picked up on Boris’s transformation to a sceptic. And I hope that the mad Metoffice woman who appeared on Breakfast Time TV to tell us that the lowest temperatures in living memory and a very heavy (by London standards) snowfall were all further inevitable consequences of Global Warming will receive appropriate medical therapy.

    But please get an experienced editor (i.e 100% mark 1 human eyeballs not just a spell checker) to look over your stuff beforehand. It will crisp it up and help the casual reader.

  35. Because of a basic mistake** in the optical physics which came into climate science from Sagan via ex-students Lacis and Hansen at NASA/GISS in 1974, the main part of the ‘global dimming’ correction in AR4, ‘cloud albedo effect’ cooling is imaginary. Therefore, the IPCC’s prediction of high future CO2-AGW is baseless.

    In 2003, after there had been no experimental verification of the ‘effect’, NASA published plausible but entirely false physics to explain how it is supposed to operate in thicker clouds. There’s an outside possibility this was appallingly bad science but it looks more likely to have been a scam to keep the correction in AR4.

    So, it seems highly likely that AR4 was known to be seriously wrong when published and there needs to be a judicial enquiry to find out who was responsible for this.

    ** The ‘two-stream’ approximations wrongly assume constant ‘Mie asymmetry factor’ and just diffuse scattering when there is also significant direct backscattering at the upper cloud surface. The latter process is turned off by pollution so instead of pollution making thicker clouds cool the Earth, the reverse happens, another AGW: CO2-AGW loses its monopoly and could be net zero.

  36. Annabelle says:
    > January 9, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    > Thanks Boris Johnson for a new word: “thermoscepticism”.
    > Can we now call warmists “thermists”?

    Perhaps “hyperthermists”? As in “hype”!

  37. Piers Corbyn predicted a bitter January for the UK, one of the coldest on record. It’s not looking like that so far.

  38. “…could the model, seemingly with an inability to predict colder seasons, have developed a warm bias, after such a long period of milder than average years? ……if global temperatures were to fall in years to come would the computer model be capable of forecasting this…?”

    As far as I know, computers (even super ones) are jumbles of metals, ‘metaloids’, rare earths, plastics etc.
    They have no a priori understanding, no sense organs, no instincts, independent knowledge or experience of the world outside what humans have built into their architecture or have programmed.

    You can’t sue a computer.

  39. Hi Barry

    Nice article.

    Far more worrying than a new word from Boris Johnson of ‘thermoscepticism’ is the notion of ‘thermo crimes’ (indicating they will be legislated for and punished). I noted it here in relation to another thread;

    “This is a short extract from my article on the politics of climate change;

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/crossing-the-rubicon-an-advert-to-change-hearts-and-minds/#comments

    It reads as follows;

    “(Note: The terms used ‘significant behavioural change’ is similar to that used in the extract at link 2.)

    Item 28. It can be seen that the highly alarmist viewpoint detailed here echoes the recent comments about ‘thermo dynamic crimes’*.

    (Note: *The increasingly frenetic tone of the climate debate in the UK can be seen in this comment from David Mackay that was made public just before the first airing of the advert.)

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6860181.ece

    “Setting fire to chemicals like gas should be made a thermodynamic crime,” he said. “If people want heat they should be forced to get it from heat pumps. That would be a sensible piece of legislation.”

    Who is David Mackay?

    (from the same link above) “Speaking last week on his first day as chief scientist at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, MacKay set out a vision of how Britain could generate the threefold increase in electricity it needs, with nuclear power at its heart. DECC is the govt dept that is the successor to Defra in climate change.”

    Mackay has also been an expert witness in front of this EAC committee.

    Those individuals and organisations who presented information for the report that we are examining in detail here are listed in this document:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200405/cmselect/cmenvaud/105/10502.htm

    All the minutes on the fourth report of the EAC are here:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmenvaud.htm

    ENDS

    The British establishment-of which the Met Office and The Dept for Energy and Climate change are symptomatic-have been the world leaders in ‘fighting’ climate change for two decades. The UK unfortunately remains at the forefront of this dubious notion and many of the things we have done-such as legislating to bring down carbon emissions and imposing swingeing taxes on energy consumption- are but harbingers for the rest of the Western World.

    Tonyb

  40. Niklas Marshall-Blank says:

    A publicly funded organisation that repeatedly fails in one of it’s main objectives, keeps information from the public who have funded it and still pays bonuses to it’s staff is a clear indication of something that’s gone horribly wrong and rotten.
    Who will hold them accountable?

    WUWT contributors, commenters and readers are doing a pretty good job.

  41. Annabelle says:
    January 9, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Thanks Boris Johnson for a new word: “thermoscepticism”. Can we now call warmists “thermists”?

    Are we now at a modern day thermopylae? Who are the Spartans and who are the Persians?

    It is a damn poor mind indeed which can’t
    think of at least two ways to spell any word.
    -Andrew Jackson

    It is a narrow minded person who thinks there is only one way to spell a word.
    -Harry Oliver

  42. Yarmy says:
    January 10, 2011 at 12:35 am

    And I for one hope he’s very wrong with that prediction!

  43. Alexander says: January 10, 2011 at 12:31 am

    Because of a basic mistake** in the optical physics which came into climate science from Sagan via ex-students Lacis and Hansen at NASA/GISS in 1974, the main part of the ‘global dimming’ correction in AR4, … So, it seems highly likely that AR4 was known to be seriously wrong when published and there needs to be a judicial enquiry to find out who was responsible for this.

    When I was a kid, we were all being told that atmospheric particulates led to global cooling (the nuclear winter). In the decades after the 1970s there was a rapid drop in air particulates due to the clean air acts. It is almost certain this led to a measurable rise in global temperature, yet somehow these warmists turn their own logic on its head and tell us this increased solar warming from reducing particulates was cooling.

    Sooner or later there will be an inquiry – rather like the truth and reconciliation inquiry in South Africa – that really gets to the bottom of this fraud. How is it possible that so many people were gullible enough to believe this blatant fraud? How was it possible that so many apparently well-intentioned people got into a mind-set where they were willing to commit this scientific fraud? And why wasn’t the scientific process resilient enough to detect and out this fraud?

  44. Without wishing to diminish the ineptitude with which Heathrow cleared the snow and ice, it is wrong to say that they invested only £500,000 in snow clearing equipment.

    That is the amount they spent on additional equipment this year; they already had what they considered adequate equipment. A pedantic point maybe, but if you don’t properly state the problem you will get eaten alive when you start trying to ask the hard questions that need to be asked about that fiasco.

  45. jorgekafkazar says: January 9, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    Here’s a public-funded organization that admits it is selling information that gives private customers (not the public) a “clear advantage.” If they told the general population the same information they’re giving private financial institutions, the info would be of no value in a trading market, would it? So the UK sheep get fleeced once to keep Madame Metoffsky’s sideshow in business, then get fleeced again when private companies speculate in climate-sensitive markets using insider information, and yet again when they freeze in their homes and cars and airports. How is this not an extraordinary conflict of interest?

    jorgekafkazar, whilst I’ve been a long term critic of the Met Office and their bizarre climate predictions, I’d never occurred to me that the way they are set up means that it is in their interest to provide less than accurate forecasts to the public to increase the value of the commercial forecasts. That probably explains why their forecasts have become less and less useful over the last five years. E.g. it used to be possible to take one look at the forecast and plan when to travel on a long journey down the UK because you could see how the fronts were coming in and work out the best window to avoid them.

    Now they give spot forecasts for individual places – which means they keep their “we got our forecast (almost) right” statistics, but you don’t get an overview picture and I’ve literally spent hours trying to work out what the weather is doing and the timing of fronts coming over.

    And what the bl****y hell is a weather warning of “severe weather” which doesn’t tell you when, where and the progression of the severe weather when you have to travel?

    They can claim they got the forecast right … but the poor motorist who has to take their crap cannot make a meaningful change to their travel plans because there is no actionable information … except sometime, somewhere, someone is going to get severe weather. So it’s win-win for the Met, because unless everyone in the affected area just stays at home on the off-chance it is them, the Met Office will always claim it gave a perfectly good warning to those who are affected because of their literally useless forecasts.

  46. Christopher Hanley says:
    January 10, 2011 at 12:49 am
    “…could the model, seemingly with an inability to predict colder seasons, have developed a warm bias, after such a long period of milder than average years? ……if global temperatures were to fall in years to come would the computer model be capable of forecasting this…?”

    As far as I know, computers (even super ones) are jumbles of metals, ‘metaloids’, rare earths, plastics etc.
    They have no a priori understanding, no sense organs, no instincts, independent knowledge or experience of the world outside what humans have built into their architecture or have programmed.

    You can’t sue a computer.

    But you can sue the Programmers who put the warm slant in the Model.

  47. As far as I understand it the AGW thesis is that the net increase in atmospheric CO2 brought about by human activity will increase global temperatures over and above what they would have been by an amount that is disputed. There are uncertainties about the level of attenuation or amplification of this underlying increase in the trend through feedback and it is the magnitude and the sign of this feedback mechanism where the real scientific debate is being held. The fact that we are in the midst of one of the coldest winters on record in the UK, or indeed across the Northern hemisphere, may or may not have surprised the UKMO, but what it does not do is touch the AGW debate. All AGW says about this winter’s weather is that cold as it is, without the impact of human emissions it would be colder still.

  48. Isn’t it about time we went on the offensive (we being ANTI-AGW people?).

    A web-site entitled

  49. What’s with all the complaints about spelling? It’s rare that any post or comment that I read here lacks grammatical mistakes. But who cares? This is science, not english literature. And many folks here are not native speakers. Shouldn’t it be substance over style?

    Sew their, eye maid my point.

  50. I haven’t seen anyone mention the Chairman of the Met Office who received a CBE in the New Years Honours:

    http://www.ecobuild.co.uk/arena/speakers/robert-napier.html

    “Robert is also Chairman of the Board of the Met Office. He was Chief Executive of WWF-UK, the UK arm of the World Wide Fund for Nature, from 1999 to April 2007. ”

    “He is also Chairman of the trustees of the Carbon Disclosure Project, WCMC 2000 and is Chairman of the Green Fiscal Commission.”

    Anyone surprised that the Met Office is biased?

  51. Thanks, Barry, for a very interesting post – highlighting the political implications of the Met Office’s recent troubles is very timely indeed. I have suggested in another place that concerned constituents (yes, I’m a UK taxpayer) should lobby their MPs with a request to table/support an Early Day Motion in Parliament to hold a public enquiry into the management at the Met Office.

    Sorry to be a bore, but could I point out a couple places where your article could do with some clarification?

    Third para: “…that ‘secret’ statement.” Unfortunately, you omitted to explain what this secret statement is (it’s also mentioned in the headline).

    Fourth para: “Therefore New Scientists optimism is misplaced …”. You need to provide the quote from the New Scientist article, particularly as you wrap up your article with a further reference to this. Also should be “New Scientist’s”.

    Further down: “Following the last years mild winter prediction by the Met Office, there was even BBC coverage debating whether their very expensive super computer had a ‘warm bias’ …” should read: “”Following last year’s mild winter..”

  52. Michael Mann writes to Jim Salinger of New Zealand, in Climategate email 1060002347.txt dated 4 August 2003
    “It is true that the skeptics twist the truth clockwise rather than counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere?”

    There is some sweetness for this Antipodean seeing higher up in this tread -
    Jack says: January 9, 2011 at 9:36 pm
    “Is that the distant sound of a gurgler and the Met Office and other exploiters are caught on the edge of the funnel, spiralling down”.

    Counterclockwise?

    Come on Micheal, how about a few examples of twisting the truth now that your mate Jim has been sacked?

  53. Roger Harrabin usually pushes the AGW dogma so his words must be taken with care.

    The Met Office as I understand it has 2 sections: one works on genuine forecasting – and they are pretty good – and the other works on climate change and works closely with CRU.

    The head honcho, Robert Napier, is also a confirmed AGW subscriber and has been closely associated with various environmental organisations including, I understand, WWF.

  54. In the recent past, I met and talked with a chap who happened to be an equipment maintenance engineer at Heathrow. He told me, in a tone of cynical amusement, that Heathrow has more managers than qualified technical staff, does not hold spare parts for any equipment (on the basis that unused inventory was too expensive and their suppliers will supply parts within hours). I am, consequent to this illuminating converstaion, unsurprised that Heathrow could not cope with a small amount of snow.

    With each passing winter I spend in the UK, factors that irritate and amuse me are the inability of the UK rail system to cope with Autumn leaves on railway lines, acquaintances native to London who believe that they live in the worst climate in the world and the most serious, the well-documented ‘Blitz Mentality’ which is the Brits’ ability to tolerate really bad stuff providing a cup of tea and a scone is on offer. This latter makes my Brit cousins their own worst enemies as they will cheerfully tolerate petty rules, stupidity, unethical practices and arrogant nonsense from Sir and Madam Beaureau Crat in all his or her guises that us Antipodeans and other former colonials will not tolerate.

  55. If 1 then it seems to me that Met qualifies for being guilty of neglect in pretty much all the vehicular accidents due to snow and ice and all the suffering from very cold people who budgeted for heating for a warmer ‘an normal winter.

    So how many of the elderly will have to suffer before Met is held accountable for its neglect?

  56. In my last post, I purposely wrote “tread” for “thread” and “Micheal” for “Michael”. In compensation, I also corrected Jack’s word “doewn” to “down”.

    Come on guys and gals, it’s one thing to make a typo in an equation, rendering it useless, but another to do it in speed text where the real meaning is obvious.

    It is more important to spend the time doing research, then on to the next topic, than to correct self-evident typos. Indeed, the typo can be an attention grabbing device, even a minor art form in semi-formal company. An eror can be self-referential.

    “Dear teacher, please excuse young Johnny for wearing sneakers to school today because his shoes are at the bookmakers.”

  57. The Callendar Effect, Fleming, AMS, 2007, fig. 2.12
    plus ca change plus c’est la meme chose

    Mais non! Seuls les Anglais des Etats-Unis est autorise uniquement sur ce blog.

  58. [FAO Robt]

    I was going to insert a little bit more about Boris Johnson for the international readers, (who I imagine care and know even less about UK politics than I do) which would be along the lines of:
    ———————————

    “Boris Johnson – The Mayor of London, is arguably perhaps the most democratically personally elected politician in the UK. As over 1.1 million London voters voted for him directly for the elected office of Mayor. This is compared to a UK Member of Parliament, who might win their seat with as little as 20,000 votes. In many seats, if you wore the right party badge a ‘mascot’ might get elected. Whilst the public are voting for a person, it is the party they represent that is being voted for.

    In my opinion, no other Conservative candidate could have won that election to become Mayor, at a time (May 2008) when the Labour Party were still very much in power in the UK. Boris Johnson won peoples votes despite him being a Conservative for many members of the public that voted for him.

    Thus for a high profile Conservative like Boris to write glowingly about (arch sceptic) Piers Corbyn and criticise the Met Office is in my opinion very signifcant politically in the UK. Especially in light of the fact that Boris wrote this weeks before the Met Office started denying they had predicted mild winters and before their ‘secret’ prediction statement.

    Boris Johnson cares whether London (including Heathrow airport) and himself is made to look bad in the eyes of a world audience. I wonder what Boris thinks about the Met Office ‘secret’ prediction, as Boris is in the position of knowing whether or not London and Heathrow received the ‘secret’ warning?”

    —————-
    I was also going to put a couple of links in:
    For the reference to Piers Corbyn and Climate Fools day:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/02/who-are-the-climate-fools-climate-fools-day/

    And for Boris Johnson winning the election to be Mayor of London

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/borisjohnson/1922449/Boris-Johnson-is-the-new-London-Mayor.html

    Hi Latimer…
    As I have stated it was a very near complete draft, and by a genuine mistake (most likely mine, I’m new to word press) this Met Office article, was published instead of another article of mine, entitled – “New Scientist – Those cursed climate emails”

    It wasn’t spell checked or quite finished, the ultimate spell checker is my wife…. ;)
    I usually write everything first, and then go through with a fine toothcomb..
    Then my wife finds everything I have missed. ;)

    The article was near complete though, except for spell checks and a thorough check over for convoluted and dodgy grammar. It was just missing the bit of background information about Boris Johnson above.

  59. Bob Ryan says:
    January 10, 2011 at 1:28 am

    “… All AGW says about this winter’s weather is that cold as it is, without the impact of human emissions it would be colder still.”

    Not cold enough for you? You’d like it colder still? If this winter was warmer than usual, and tens of thousands of people died in the UK as a result, had we not had global warming then it would have been even colder and even more people would have died. And that’s a better scenario than a warming planet? Most humans are warm blooded mammals.; they benefit from warmth, not cold.

  60. ANTHONY,

    []

    I have read the article and was impressed with the thrust and points made. Personally, I think that it is a sad day when readers on this site are more concerned at style over substance, are more concerned about the manner in which the message is presented rather than the message itself.

    Most of us could put together an interesting article but either we have not got the time to do so, or we are not prepared to put in the required effort that such undertaking requires. I therefore have the utmost respect and admiration for anyone who submits articles to your site, even if I do not always agree with what they may have to say, the arguments raised, or the manner in which they express themselves.

    I therefore consider that commentators should be a little more respectful when pointing out errors and spelling mistakes. I have sometimes been aghast when I have read the tone of some comments criticising the language used by authors whose first language is obviously not English. I would urge commentators to be a little more understanding and respectful in their criticisms.

    Of course, the language used dictates the meaning of what is said. In view of that (spelling corrections aside), I would urge you not to be too hasty in accepting so called suggestions/improvements, at least, not without first reviewing the comment with the author. For example,

    Brian of Moorabbin, AUS says:
    January 9, 2011 at 10:00 pm
    I’m still trying to come to grips with this one:
    The Global Warming Policy Foundation has also publicly written to the Transport Secretary calling for an enquiry, on the board of the GWPF there are respected politicians and scientists, this issue will be he heard and discussed privately in the corridors of power.
    Do you mean:
    The Global Warming Policy Foundation has also publicly written to the Transport Secretary calling for an enquiry. Unfortunately on the board of the GWPF there are respected politicians and scientists, so this issue will only be heard and discussed privately in the corridors of power.
    Or was it something else you meant to say?
    For pity’s sake, could people please spell check, grammar check, and then re-read their own articles for coherency before submitting them?
    It’s honestly not that hard people…
    REPLY: You make an excellent point with your addition of the word “Unfortunately”.

    Brian’s interpretation of that paragraph is fundamentally different to my own interpretation of the paragraph and I consider the addition of the word “unfortunately” and in particular the word “only” to impart a radically different meaning to that which was set out. I accept that I may be mistaken in my interpretation, but in my view, the author was making the point that the GWPF is not any old organisation because its board consists of respected politicians and scientists such that what the GWPF has to say carries weight which in turn means that the points raised by the GWPF will be listened to and actually discussed in the corridors of power, I consider that the author was making the point that if the issues raised by the GWPF had been made by some unknown body or not respected body, the issued raised would have gone unheard and simply ignored; materially, they would not be discussed in the corridors of power.

    If my interpretation is correct, if you were to amend this paragraph in line with Brian’s interpretation, you would not be construing or interpreting what the author was saying, but rather you would be rewriting his work and imparting a very different thrust to that which is set out.

    I raise this illustration only because it has parallels with the temperature record. One should be extremely slow to make adjustments failing which one often builds in bias such that later readers of the record end up interpreting the effects of the adjustment made rather than the underlying raw data. This is so with language. It is best not to adulterate it (at least not without consultation with the author) and leave it to each and every reader to interpret what has been said.
    [Edited as requested. Robt]

  61. David L: I do not normally bother to engage with discussion about my preferences when trying to discuss what I understand to be the facts. However, you do raise an implicit but important point: what is the optimum global climate required to support an expanding human population? It may be that the prospect of a general warming by 1C-3C would be worthwhile in terms of increased biodiversity, crop yields and habitable land mass, and would, on balance, be worth the disruption that might follow. It seems to me that is the key issue: it may or may not be the case that the current climate is the optimum required to support 7bn but I doubt whether it is the optimum to support 2bn more by 2050. The current cold is disruptive and has undoubtedly claimed lives. But that has nothing to do with whether the AGW thesis is correct and if it is whether that is necessarily a bad thing.

  62. Poor old Met Office – they always screw it up. GIGO.

    But, if you exactly reverse all long term forecasts over the last few years, you get results that “beat the odds”. WUWT? Does the supercomputer’s program have a wrong sign in it? The freezing January that they predicted in panic (after the fiasco in December) has been mild so far…..

    Off to the betting shop.

  63. Apparently, so the rumour goes, some bright spark realised that if you simply stated that tomorrow’s weather will be the same as today’s, the accuracy of the forecast better than the Met Office’s efforts.


  64. REPLY: There were a few genuine typos, now fixed. but some of it is simply the Kings English. Mr. Woods is from Britain – Anthony

    Anthony, this is nothing to do with Mr Woods being British. I’m afraid his very poor use of English is well known on various web sites in the UK, in particular on the BBC, and isn’t something a spell-checker could resolve.

    I would strongly suggest to Mr Woods that he should work with a collaborator who has a better grasp of grammar and syntax, since much of his message is lost in the vain attempt to decode his meaning.

    I am not simply being pedantic, by the way – I genuinely have difficulty extracting the message from many of his posts.

  65. I posted this in the tips section and it answers the question, yes the Met Office did give the ”secret’ advice to the cabinet office

    Informer says:
    January 9, 2011 at 2:40 am

    From “The Register”

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/01/07/met_office_forecast_not_forecast/

    The Met vigorously denies the map, reproduced below, is a “forecast”. However it has confirmed that it “provided a long-range forecast to the Cabinet Office at the end of October highlighting the risk of a cold start to the winter”.

    According to separate internal documents released under the FOI Act, saying two things to two audiences is advisable. The BBC News website published excerpts from several internal executive reports that bemoan the ability of the public to understand probabilistic forecasts. This resulted in “less ‘intelligent’ (and potentially hostile) sections of the press, competitors and politicos” conspiring to damage the Met Office “brand”.

    By contrast, people who the Met deems “interested customers” should be told the three-month outlook will be available on the research pages of the website. “‘Intelligent’ customers (such as the Cabinet Office) find probabilistic forecasts helpful in planning their resource deployment.”

  66. Apologies again, for messing up with Word Press and clicking on the wrong article (late at night) to make it pending review, before it was ready. I’ve only been using Word Press for a couple of months, only 10 blog posts so far – http://www.realclimategate.org

    I have put the complete, typo checked, version with all the correct links in, as intended here: (any problems add a comment)

    http://www.realclimategate.org/2011/01/the-met-office-secret-predictions-and-the-political-implications/

    REPLY: I have updated the content here with Mr. Wood’s update. – Anthony

  67. Geoff Sherrington, as a retired teacher, I really enjoy your sensible attitiude to written communications in blog posts. If the communication is clear, readers should definitely not concern themselves with nit-pickery. WUWT, which is NOT a literary society, adheres to a very acceptable standard of written English and code of behaviour, IMHO. Some pedants’ comments about posters who obviously have English as a second language are plain embarrassing!
    At my local library in outer London, some drongo has set him/herself the task of proof reading crime novels and correcting the typos in heavy blue ink; to say this irritating is putting it mildly.
    And yes, a mis-spelt word can add layers of humour to a communication; an asthmatic school friend’s parents received a note from his concerned teacher which began…
    “Billy has trouble with his breeding…”

  68. Picking on Boris Johnson is like shooting tuna in a tin.

    Boris WAS a sceptic, until he ran for mayor and faced the expediencies of appealing to the metropolitan constituency in London and to be on-message with Dave Cameron.

    He became a warmist and is now showing his sceptic petticoats once more.

    You should see what he wrote in today’s Telegraph about India, it had me choking on my tea in indignation. Consistency is not his strong point.

  69. Let’s face it.

    No matter which way the Met office tries to squirm its way out of its inadequacy(s), the end result will not be pretty for them due to the domino effect in any direction.

    What kills me the most though ?

    Listening now to pro-AGWers (at other blogs and forums) rave on, in a desperate ploy of defense, about how the Met has on their website in, “big red letters”, the claim that their reports are only “probabilities” and “starting points” for seasonal forecasts and were “never meant as an actual seasonal forecast”.

    So if that’s the case, I ask the warmists this: Just what exactly is this $200+ million/year publicly funded operation (armed with a $33 million dollar computer system and spanky new digs) that was set up as a “world leading weather services for the public, business, and government” doing then with their time, effort, and money ?? Since they have omitted (aka hedged) any and all responsibility to seasonal weather forecasting now, remind us again of what exactly the public is funding ?? And tell us also how the government offices are to delegate their annual budget for seasonal expenditures… since they now, apparently, no longer have a department to advice in that area anymore ??

    You see… no matter which way this tries to get spun, there’s just no way of cleanly squirming out.

    And to add some icing to the already delectable cake: We get a Met office spokesperson stating that they (as in the Met office faculty) could do a much better job with an additional $20+ million more for new and improved computers…

    Really ?!

    … Hmm, I wonder how much extra CO2 output would that additional $20+ million worth of computation spit up each year ?

    You better believe Mr. Barry Woods hit the nail right on the head when he raises the question of what will be the implications of this public fiasco.

  70. I’m not even sure why we are entertaining the idea that the Met Office had a “secret forecast” that they only told the UK government. All motives for such a bizarre declaration point to a lie.

    It’s clear, and has been, that the AGW folks at the Met office are at odds with the new coalition government. As such, it isn’t beyond reason to imagine them trying to foist their failure off on the skeptics.

    Likewise, their rationale for even having a secret forecast doesn’t hold up to reason. If they were afraid of being attacked for getting the prediction wrong then why wouldn’t they publicize the prediction they believed to be correct? It makes no sense.

    Well, I guess there is another scenario where it does make sense, even if their reasons would still be completely fabricated. It is possible that they DID get the forecast right, but were so sold on AGW that they refused to believe it. In that case I can see them hedging by letting someone in the UK government in on the “secret” and then crossing their fingers that their other warmer prediction would be the right one.

    I’m not sure which is more damning.

  71. steveta_uk – Please can we comment on the content of the article now..

    Please can we move on, it was my mistake….this article was not quite READY yet as has been explained. There was a bit of a silly cock up and misunderstanding. I sent an email to Anthony saying an article called – New Scientist – Those cursed climate emails, was pending review..

    So I was a little surprised to get a reply saying my article called – The Met Office Secret Prediction and the political implications – was full of typos, etc, but had been fixed

    I must have clicked pending review on the wrong article, and Anthony must have just logged onto WordPress, saw a pending article and not yet checked email (or been on the road) for a while, to see my email saying that a different article was pending.
    it was nearly finished, Anthony probably read and published it without thinking he needed to spell check it.

    If Anthony has made any mistake at all, it is only one of trust, he trusted me to have written it to a high standard and not thought spellchecking required – remember it was an unfinsished article, marked pending review instead of the correct finished article.

    Busy people, blogging in the own times, make mistakes in good faith, how we handle them is what is important. No one has been hurt. I have apologised to Anthony for my mistake, and I hope I will be trusted to make other guest posts – that is of course if anyone is interested ;)

    If I have offended anyone by my typo’s and grammatical errors elsewhere I am sorry, that is nothing to do with Watts Up With That. I am aware of my limitations, I cannot type for toffee, I can also read, and re-read things a number of times, and still miss spelling mistakes and missing words and duplicate words. I am also aware that I can torture grammar sometimes.

    I do not have much spare time, to quote someone badly, no doubt, ‘I apologise for the length of the letter, I did not have the Time to make it shorter’

    Since having a guest author logon, I have taken take particular care and time to get right and I even get my wife to doublecheck everything, which she did for the article I intended to get published at Watts Up.

    (comment in other blogs are my own, as I’m not a full time paid by Koch or Exxon employee, I type and comment when I can.. I am aware of my haste sometimes, I have little time, I even started my own blog, just to get an edit function, if anyone knows my name, I suggest they can just ignore anything I comment lest they get offended by typos and bad grammar)

    To get onto topic…

    From the info above, that the Met Office HAD warned the cabinet office of a harsh winter.

    I wonder if London Heathrow, and the Mayor of London knew about it?

    Boris Johnson got it in the neck politically for the general unpreparedness for snow, in London and at Heathrow airport. 1.1 million london voters voted for Boris to be Mayor, was he made aware? I imagine he will be pretty cross if this info was not passed on to him, and the London Councils…

    I believe a number of airline carriers are also threatening to sue BAA who own Heathrow, it would be a good defence for BAA, if they went on the non secret advice, or evidence of negligence if BAA were aware of the secret advice.

    Did the cabinet office not warn the councils, or the airports, lots of questions and political consequences. A BAA enquiry was set up in December, what advice was received from the Met Office at the time, is an obvious question to put to BAA, in light od the ‘secret prediction’

    BBC – BAA launches inquiry into Heathrow Airport snow chaos

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-12071442

  72. Looks like the Global Warming Policy foundation (mentioned) has some political clout..

    http://thegwpf.org/uk-news/2186-labour-mp-louise-ellman-set-to-head-probe-into-winter-transport-fiasco-.html

    This is of particular interest:

    “The Met Office stated that it warned the Cabinet Office – in charge of emergency planning – in late October that the onset of winter would be “exceptionally cold.”

    But their extreme weather warning was kept under wraps by ministers. The Cabinet Office has refused to reveal which, if any, local transport authorities, airports and utility companies were alerted.”

    Someone must come out of all this not looking very good(Met Office, The Cabinet Office, Councils, BAA or the Coalition government, or is nobody ever at fault anymore.

    From the GWPF website – press release:
    “A LIVERPOOL MP is set to head a Parliamentary probe into this winter’s transport “fiasco.” Riverside’s Louise Ellman, as chairman of the Transport Select committee, has received official requests to launch a wide-ranging inquiry into why snowfalls up to the Christmas/New Year break crippled the rail and road system. If given the go-ahead it will focus on the coalition government’s alleged failure to respond to Met Office warnings of severe weather.

    That led to weeks of turmoil with trains cancelled, motorways shut and thousands of travellers stranded in appalling weather.

    Mrs Ellman has circulated complaints to committee members from all major parties and they will decide whether they merit a full-blown investigation.”

  73. Just ask the MET office what the weather will be tomorrow in the middle of a change in weather patterns over the UK, they wouldn’t have a clue.

    They can only tell you what the weather will be like tomorrow as long as it doesn’t change from today.

    Don’t believe me just watch there reports as a high or low pressure changes, there forecasts get worst to useless.

    The MET office publicly owned, privately run. (Funny enough like the UK banks).

  74. @Alexander K

    ‘And yes, a mis-spelt word can add layers of humour to a communication; an asthmatic school friend’s parents received a note from his concerned teacher which began…
    “Billy has trouble with his breeding…”’

    To parafrase an aussi: “Oi!”

    You shouldn’t poke fun of the oxygen challenged folks, what if they roll around the floor laughing their collective butt off, having a blast, whilst untimely constriction of their (British) airways make them keel over, dead! An asthmatic judge could treat it comedic manslaughter.

  75. I’ve just followed various links from the Register posting (mentioned earlier) to Harrabins “BBC Weather Test: Setting course” – http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9194000/9194332.stm – from last October.

    Roger completes his summary like this:

    No matter that the barbecue summer slogan was coined by the Met Office press office and the forecasters had made a more sensible probabilistic forecast.

    Roger has said this more than once, but it is simply not true. I remember quite clearly hearing the original BBQ summer forecast spoken from the mouth of a forecaster on BBC radio 4 while driving home from work. This was NOT a PR person, it was a forecaster, and this repeated attempt by Roger and others to claim otherwise simply doesn’t wash.

  76. Yarmy says:
    Piers Corbyn predicted a bitter January for the UK, one of the coldest on record. It’s not looking like that so far.

    One week into January seems a bit early to call it, but regardless, I’d say that Corbyn’s predictions are showing a greater correlation with reality than the Met.

  77. Brian of Moorabbin, AUS says:
    January 9, 2011 at 10:00 pm
    I’m still trying to come to grips with this one:

    The Global Warming Policy Foundation has also publicly written to the Transport Secretary calling for an enquiry, on the board of the GWPF there are respected politicians and scientists, this issue will be he heard and discussed privately in the corridors of power.

    Do you mean:
    The Global Warming Policy Foundation has also publicly written to the Transport Secretary calling for an enquiry. Unfotunately on the board of the GWPF there are respected politicians and scientists, so this issue will only be heard and discussed privately in the corridors of power.

    Or was it something else you meant to say?
    [snip]

    REPLY: You make an excellent point with your addition of the word “Unfotuantely”.

    - Anthony

    I have to agree with Richard Verney.

    Perhaps you should watch some of the ‘Yes Minister’ clips on You Tube. If something is important in UK politics it is discussed quietly in the corridors of power as politicians quietly maneuver to position themselves with the new understanding. There is no loud public verbal assaults or leaping off bandwagons until such quiet maneuvering has completed. Indeed – after such discussions – policies may just be quietly dropped or ‘run out of parliamentary time’ with no embarrassing explanations given or requested.

    Perhaps someone should watch the Met Office ‘line items’ in the budget for this year they may show the impact of these unpublished discussions.

  78. As I’ve learned to expect from you, Barry, another excellent post.
    As for mistakenly sending the uncorrected draft, that’s just Murphy’s Law kicking in. I’m a tad saddened by how,’much more exercised, some people get with a failure of form than an absence of substance.
    It’s also interesting to see a pattern emerging with posts on non CAGW sites that elicit very swift and hostile responses from gangs of “drive-by” shootists.
    It’s almost as if there are teams of dedicated individuals out there who continually monitor WUWT and etc for new posts, look for weak points or opportunities to nit-pick, Strawmanise or trot out trusty, old red-book mantras and then get to the head of the comment queue and basically hijack the thread.
    Perhaps you should set aside some of your “Big Oil” money to hire a PR person, Barry? Bob Ward is, iirc, as cheap as they come. He’s a red-hot speed demon on a keyboard and he’s a real whiz when it comes to getting to the head of the comment queue.
    In the CIF section of the Graundiad, he sometimes exhibits almost psychic powers and has his response ready before the article has been posted!

  79. It is hardly surprising with the doctrine of ‘Post Normal Science’ so prevalent in the UK .

    For those unfamiliar with this, as I was until yesterday, it is crucial to understand how a doctrine which believes science should be prepared to trade truth for influence and political ends has come to be an integral part of ‘climate science’ and political activity.

    The article has quotes from Mike Hulme of UEA and Tyndall centre, he is one of the people who are highly influential on British Government policy, EU policy and the workings of the IPCC.

    As Prof Hulme says “ ‘self-evidently’ dangerous climate change will not emerge from a normal scientific process of truth seeking”

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

  80. The great sadness in all this is that we hear so very little from sceptic MPs demanding from the floor of the house that a thorough investigation is an urgently needed by the government into these apparently conflicting statements from the Met Office. They should also demand that the totally biased Met. Office Chairman, Dr Napier be replaced forthwith by a proper chairman who is not blinded by bogus AGW science and who will not be afraid to tell the truth when seriously cold weather is on the agenda. So come on members of parliament, don’t sit back and be afraid to rock the boat. Stand up and be counted and speak for the majority of the electorate who are now far from convinced at the awfull scam that has been perpetrated by the AGW cult.

  81. Bob Ryan says:
    January 10, 2011 at 1:28 am

    “… All AGW says about this winter’s weather is that cold as it is, without the impact of human emissions it would be colder still.”

    AGW thesis is not disprovable and is thus not science, it is faith alone.

  82. Jimbo says:
    January 9, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    For those who are unaware there is a license fee paid by owners of television sets. Currently £145.50 for a colour licence and £49.00 for a black-and-white.
    ——————————————————————————

    Amazing….I hope our FCC here in the U.S. doesn’t find out about his.

  83. I note from the previous thread that the Met Office ‘secretly briefed the government on a cold winter’.

    Well that secret briefing obviously did not extend as far as Boris Johnson. Is he not to be trusted with such sensitive state secrets? I think one should know.

    .

  84. Even those of us with no scientific training have known for several years that there was no concensus on AGW.
    What has previously infuriated me is now quite amusing in it’s own way, for even with a few weeks warning the game was up, as we simply don’t have the snow ploughs and other equipment to cope.
    It will be highly amusing to watch Her Majesty’s Government “stick or twist” for next winter.
    The get out excuse of the “warmers” has been that last winter was a blip.
    This summer our leaders will have to make a decision……no extra equipment and another fiasco or prepare for colder winters.This would of course be the biggest of all embarrassments…….its going to get hotter..the Arctic Ice Sheet will disappear……but we need more snow ploughs.
    What will this lead to?…..early retirements…..BBC AGW “believers” turning on their MET Office friends and a UK Government trying to explain why we are pay a CO2 tax
    and awaiting the first cases of litigation for our money back.
    What fun!!!…..with the added bonus of seeing Monbiot, Toynbee, Blair, Cameron. Clegg, Milliband et al totally shafted.
    Hahahaha

  85. Bob Ryan says:
    January 10, 2011 at 1:28 am

    “… All AGW says about this winter’s weather is that cold as it is, without the impact of human emissions it would be colder still.”

    Taking environmental changes since the 1890′s December 2010 could have been even colder. There’s more evidence that AGW had no/very little affect and months can still be as cold as any that have been recorded since the Little Ice Age. Some regions also recorded there coldest ever temperatures for any winter month. This is depsite December normally being the warmest Winter month. Looking more like natural weather and natural climate change the longer this debate go’s on. All AGW says is everything is caused by it and therefore it’s a load rubbish. (not science)

  86. Paul Hudson of the BBC wrote

    Could they be affected by such a warm bias? If global temperatures were to fall in years to come would the computer model be capable of forecasting this?

    While I have a problem with them not having it right so far (that is the main theme of this post, of course), we should be asking them – and they should be asking themselves:

    “Will they make iterative changes to the models, in order to start getting rid of the errors?”

    If it was you or me, we would do that, to begin to make better projections. But will they?

  87. I heard on the radio, that Virgin airline are witholding landing payments at Heathrow, until the enquiry into the fiasco at Heathrow is resloved. Not the GWPF one, but the one that BAA instigated back in December..

    Millions are at stake…

    If BAA knew of the Met Office other prediction, airlines pursue BAA.

    If BAA did not know, airlines then pursue the government, who did or did not know?

    It’s getting nasty and complicated for the Met Office and the government now..

    Guardian – 1oth Jan 2010:
    BAA under fire from Bmi and Virgin over Heathrow snow shutdown

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jan/10/virgin-atlantic-heathrow-airport-snow

    “This type of thing cannot keep happening and consumers cannot be ignored,” said a Virgin Atlantic spokesman. “We want the inquiry to be robust. If we can add impetus to that by any action we are taking, then so be it.”

  88. I have to admit to skipping over what are probably erudite comments, and other salient points. If so, I apologise if I tread on anyone’s toes.
    Christopher Booker, and I believe James Delingpole have a book published (CB) and about to be published (JD) with respect to what is really behind all this crap ‘science’, which is, and will be illuminating, to say the least.
    Both journalists have commented on the extreme inaccuracy of the UK met office long-term forecasts.
    If I, or anyone else in the private sector (so-called) had made such a complete balls-up, only to compound it with yet more nonsense, then I would be punting my cv around, without much hope of re-employment.

  89. To cover the first points first:

    To point out spelling errors in the initial post in a helpful “editor” type way is a good thing. To make claims like “Yor speeling eroors wer sew bad mi udderwere cought fir & ey am nou surving lyfe in a fedral penistentiary” are not a good thing.

    To point out spelling errors in the comments is not a good thing. The initial post should be corrected, but the comments are fire & forget – especially without the aid of a preview.

    Until there is a King, then it’s the Queen’s English.

    The situation with the Met Office is quango suicide. There is no way – even if the Met Office acted like angels in this – that they are going to come out of this without taking a few bullets for the team.

    Money isn’t on any of their radar screens, despite austerity, there is more than enough to go round – humiliation is on their radar screens. Politicos don’t like other politicos to ask them why they’re so inept.

    The Met Office should have just shut up and accepted that since everyone thinks they’re crap, having everyone thinking they’re crap isn’t so much of a change. I personally don’t reckon much to their weather forecasts – it “converges” as time goes by to the weather that actually does occur. But anyone can do this by looking out of the window, and telling it how it is.

    Faster computers do not make you more accurate. They make you just as wrong but quicker.

    Trying to refute a cold January when we’re only half-way through it, is like claiming 2010 is the hottest year by far – when you’re only half-way through it. We can wait folks – it’ll not be long before Feb is here. It has been cold recently, colder than the usual post 70′s winters, but not bitterly so.

    The Virgin move is an interesting one. Heathrow may point and say “Act of God”, but then all Virgin have to do is point to Norway (who I believe closed for mere hours) and ask if their’s is a different God. I forsee a back-hander going to Virgin to shut up.

    These cold winters are kneecapping the AGW crowd. Plaintive cries of “warming makes it go cold” just don’t seem to be working.

    But I don’t want another cold winter.

    As though it’s up to me… ;-)

  90. Z said: ‘Faster computers do not make you more accurate. They make you just as wrong but quicker.’

    All perfectly true and here is an example of where small is beautiful. With just a laptop ‘Bryan Leyland, a retired engineer in New Zealand, armed only with Excel and access to the internet and with the McLean et al. 2009 paper, was able to get it right.’

    It is getting cooler as we speak.

  91. el gordo says: “…With just a laptop ‘Bryan Leyland, a retired engineer in New Zealand, armed only with Excel and access to the internet and with the McLean et al. 2009 paper, was able to get it right…’ ”

    An interesting bit of “wiggle matching.” It would be more convincing if the early wiggles matched a lot better or if we had a longer collection of wiggles. Looks a lot more cost-effective than Madame Metoffsky and her £30million broken crystal ball, though.

  92. Re typos: here’s something I sent to WordPress yesterday (except the last paragraph, an afterthought):

    How about a Typo-Alert Button in your blogging software, so the user can privately describe a typo to the thread-starter? (There could be a 200-word limit, to discourage abuse.)

    There ought to be a private way to describe a thread-starter’s typos to him/her. When authors fix these nits they do a service to site-visitors, and when visitors bring nits to the owner’s attention they do him a favor, in the same way that it’s a favor to tell someone his/her zipper is undone.

    But it annoys lots of readers when they encounter these helpful hints in the public space, so the nit-picker is sometimes accused of being a grammar-N*z* or engaging in captious criticism. It’s an unsatisfactory situation all around, because of the absence of a private channel messaging setup, such as a Typo button, similar to the Report button.

    Of course, activation of this feature should be at the thread-starter’s option–even down to activating/de-activating it for individual threads. He might not want to inhibit his heat-of-the-moment blogging by worrying about typos.

  93. Jryan says:

    Well, I guess there is another scenario where it does make sense, even if their reasons would still be completely fabricated. It is possible that they DID get the forecast right, but were so sold on AGW that they refused to believe it. In that case I can see them hedging by letting someone in the UK government in on the “secret” and then crossing their fingers that their other warmer prediction would be the right one.

    This is the sort of subtlety one finds in literature, and fiction generally. It’s very plausible, to me.

  94. ” Jryan says: … I can see them hedging by letting someone in the UK government in on the “secret” and then crossing their fingers that their other warmer prediction would be the right one. ”

    Roger Knights says:

    This is the sort of subtlety one finds in literature, and fiction generally. It’s very (im)plausible, to me.

    Totally agree!

    I think we should read the facts as they are: two contradictory forecasts one “old school one that was right ” and a new “global warming” forecast that was wrong. I had the fortune to correspond with a well known Met Office forecaster a while back and from what they were saying the “takeover” of the organisation by the accountants and warmists has not been exactly welcomed by the traditional (civil service) forecasters.

    So, I don’t think you have to read too much into this episode to see that we have two forecasts from two different factions in the one organisation. The one is led by Robert Napier and is the warmist faction which see warmist propaganda as a nice gravy train, is heavily model led and see nothing at all wrong in using weather forecasts as a means to indoctrinate the country about the perils of eco-doom.

    The second faction is the old-school forecasters who’d prefer just to be a public service body giving the best forecast they are able, using the skill and experience of time-served forecasters + whatever help technology can give to provide a public service forecasting the weather.

  95. Well, it’s an interesting development – typos or not. Perhaps the next ‘gate’ will be Heathrowgate or even Metgate.

  96. Roger Knights says:
    “I think we should read the facts as they are: two contradictory forecasts one “old school one that was right ” and a new “global warming” forecast that was wrong. I had the fortune to correspond with a well known Met Office forecaster a while back and from what they were saying the “takeover” of the organisation by the accountants and warmists has not been exactly welcomed by the traditional (civil service) forecasters.”

    How long I wonder, before we see, hacked, stolen or copied emails by some disenchanted employee in the Met Office who does not wish to be associated with the cult of global warming? (Not Met Office Gate please!)

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