Met Office Report Card at the 2/3 Mark

Guest post by Steven Goddard
https://i0.wp.com/www.mortbay.com/images/holidays/2003/SnowLondon/2003_01_08-08_46_58.jpg
The UK Met Office forecast last Autumn “the coming winter suggests it is, once again, likely to be milder than average. ”  We have now passed the 2/3 mark of the meteorological winter, and it is time for another report card to send home.  Yesterday’s press release was titled “Wintry start to February” which stated “So far, the UK winter has been the coldest for over a decade” and “Met Office forecasters expect the cold theme to the weather to continue well into next week with the chance of further snow.”
The UK is expecting the heaviest snow in about 20 years tomorrow.  Snow and freezing weather threaten to shut down Britain Arctic blizzards are set to cause a national shutdown on Monday as forecasters warn of the most widespread snowfall for almost 20 years.”Now is the time you’d expect to see the daffodils coming out but we’re not expecting them for two or three weeks at best if it warms up.
So why is this important?  Climate is not weather, after all.  The Met Office is one of the most vocal advocates of human induced global warming, and they have gotten into a consistent pattern of warm seasonal forecasts which seemingly fall in line with that belief system.  Is it possible that their forecasts are unduly influenced by preconceived notions about the climate?  It is worth remembering that London had it’s first October snow in 70 years this past autumn.
Or perhaps they know exactly what they are doing, and are just having a several year run of extremely bad luck with their long term forecasting.
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259 thoughts on “Met Office Report Card at the 2/3 Mark

  1. Hey, win a few, lose a few, no big deal. We’ll just keep plugging away forecasting warmer than average and sooner or later we’ll nail it! Works for NOAA.

  2. Earlier this week, some artists floated an iceberg and polar bear down the Thames to highlight “the problem of the melting ice caps.” Art imitates life, or vice-versa.
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article5590775.ece

    Given that Britain is forecast to run short on electricity within five years because of a lack of power plant construction, perhaps people should think twice before bringing the Arctic to London.

  3. Could this be connected to the recent (current?) Stratospheric Warming spike? As I recall the theory is that tjhey indirectly effect lower latitude tropospheric temperatures by steering (?) Arctic Air south. Is that was is happening in the UK?

  4. Very likely Garaka.

    I predicted extreme cold to my friends last week on the strength of that.

    They stopped laughing at me a long time ago.

    DaveE.

  5. The historic problem in Europe is not the severe cold, but the cool & wet summers that rot the crops in the fields.
    The severe cold is the red warning light of what may follow.

  6. Well I’m taking my camera and spare batteries to work with me tomorrow. Should be an interesting day, that is if the trains find it the right type of snow to run in and don’t cancel themselves.

    Its interesting how the Met office is consistently wrong these days and how our perceptions can be at odds with official figures. I thought that this last summer was the worst I had experienced in the 30 years I have lived in the UK. Even the the wet 2007 was not as bad. And in the southeast summer has declined since the summer of 2003 where we had no rain from July to November. That was the year the water companies told us that rationing of water was here to stay. It almost seems as if it has not stopped raining since.

  7. Or perhaps they know exactly what they are doing, and are just having a several year run of extremely bad luck with their long term forecasting.

    Well…, Umm…, I guess that might be it. Or maybe their models need a bit bit more tweaking.

  8. I think this just shows how very ** bad ** the climate models are at forecasting near-term (6 – 12 months) climate. I suppose we need bigger computers, right??

  9. They claim that they were absolutely correct with 2008 winter projection of a very mild winter. True or false?

  10. I thought one of the common predicted outcomes of global warming is that the arctic melt would destroy heat current flows in the atlantic ocean, wouldn’t a cold UK winter confirm that?

  11. MattN,

    The Met Office did get their warm winter 2007-2008 forecast partially correct – if you ignore the fact that Scotland had one of their best skiing years in recent memory and England had a very rare Easter snowstorm. But the Met Office’s last two summer and the current winter forecasts all missed badly. They also forecast that 2007 would be the hottest year ever globally.

  12. “Or perhaps they know exactly what they are doing, and are just having a several year run of extremely bad luck with their long term forecasting.”

    There should be NO luck involved, it’s a future prediction based on extensive research and meticulous modelling. Something is seriously wrong if they consistently get it wrong year after year.

  13. Justin Ritchie,

    Global warming theorists have forecast every imaginable change in UK weather at one time or another – hot/cold/wet/dry/mild/Mediterranean/Desert/etc.

    I’m guessing though that there isn’t much melting going on the Arctic during the winter with temperatures averaging -30C.

  14. Al Gore spoke to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations today about the impending doom of human-induced climate change. I could only bear listening for about 15 seconds. Every word that comes out of that man’s mouth is a misconception, lie, farce or fallacy. I laughed when he mentioned James Hansen’s scientific findings, but this really isn’t a laughing matter. The politicians backed by their corrupt “scientists” are perpetrating the biggest scam in history right before our eyes.

  15. Justin: as I recall, the theory of “the day after tomorrow” was that the hypothetical melt would shut down the gulf stream causing catastrophic cooling of the northern hemisphere. I think that’s what you’re referencing.
    (hard to say which is worse in that movie – the acting, the writing, or the science. They hit the trifecta with that one)

    The gulf stream is still alive and well and chugging away – that can be very easily measured. This current temperature drop is atmospheric, not oceanic.

  16. Speaking of arctic weather, did anyone notice that Cryosphere Today recently changed the color scheme for the northern hemisphere snow cover on the comparison graphic? Someone over there got tired of looking at all the snow cover from the satellite shots and decided to change the snow to an unobtrusive gray color. If you don’t like what reality gives you, just photoshop your way into ignorant bliss.

  17. Steven Goddard (19:41:09) :

    I’m guessing though that there isn’t much melting going on the Arctic during the winter with temperatures averaging -30C.

    I would think not. My son works for a geo-imaging outfit, and last year they had to wait more than a month for the thaw than usual, and he told me that the Arctic melt didn’t get as far as it did the previous year.
    It’s much colder in the Arctic this winter than last, so I would imagine that breakup will occur even later.

  18. It is interesting to note that the Climate Change supporters in Australia were predicting an increase in the number of cyclones and also cyclones of greater intensity so far we have had a only 3 this year and they have only category 1 and 2 cyclones. But we have had a lot of rain in the north which is to be expected in the rainy season. The south-east has been hot and dry -it is summer afterall and after the hottest spell since 1908 Penny Wong climate change minister said this what we can expect in the future with climate change. I wonder what the reason was in 1908! They did get their record we had the warmest nights since record began in 1855 as proof of climate change. With such meagre records they are really grasping at straws to back their pseudo science.

  19. Update from London.

    It is now 5am. Looking out from FatBigot Towers I see all roads, houses and gardens under a good two inches of snow with more falling all the while. It is arriving from due north and at a shallow angle. The real stuff is predicted to arrive in ten to twelve hours’ time.

    What a glorious sight for those of us who enjoy seasons and find winter incomplete without at least a day of heavy snow.

    Back in the Autumn I was down at my little place in the country one weekend and spent a while chatting to a local farmer I’ve known all my life. He didn’t predict the weather for this winter, he said what it was going to be. There was no prediction any more than we predict that the day after Tuesday is Wednesday. The old country folk always know because they have seen it before and the little they haven’t seen they heard about from their parents who also passed on what their parents told them. Their knowledge covers more than 100 years and throughout that time they couldn’t afford to be wrong because their livelihood depended on it.

    Any number of computers and any amount of number-crunching cannot compete with actual knowledge, even if those possessing the knowledge cannot explain the processes causing the phenomena they know about.

    I was told by the old farmer that the winter would be the harshest for a decade. He didn’t know why, but he didn’t need to know why, he only needed to know it. He knew it because the hedgehogs were very busy, stocking up on food to prepare themselves for an early hibernation. That’s it, just that. It was all he needed to see to know it would be a cold winter.

    The real truth of the tale, of course, is that the hedgehogs knew it would be a cold winter. $140million for research into hedgehog intuition? No, I thought not.

  20. Gerard (20:48:49) :
    But we have had a lot of rain in the north which is to be expected in the rainy season. The south-east has been hot and dry -it is summer afterall and after the hottest spell since 1908


    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this just normal La Nina behaviour for the Australian climate? I.e. wetter in the north and hotter in the south?
    Effects of El Niño/La Nina on world weather We’re still in a La Nina, aren’t we?

  21. Will the current run of high temps in Australia counter the cooler weather in the Northern hemisphere so that the ‘global temp’ still works out to be increasing?

    Adelaide and Melbourne are breaking records for highest temps and longest run of 40C+ temps (it was 46C in Adelaide last week).

    We have our ‘scientists’ now warning us that 50C is possible in the future. Of course they do not specify how long into the future, degree of certainty or that they will resign whatever government paid positions they hold if they are wrong.

  22. Your right Bob D it is just normal weather, no indications of climate change however that doesn’t stop Tim Flannery or Penny Wong predicting doom and gloom. Wong’s job depends on it and Flannery has made lots of money and has achieved the notoriety he so desperately craves. The Rudd government has the support of the public to raise a carbon tax to save the planet. How many governments have their citizens begging to be taxed more?

  23. Tis a great shame that our national radio announcers say nothing of the irony of “Global Warming”, at the same time they deliver the news of impending heavy snow fall & ice & cold with typical BBC stoicism, as if all is normal & the good old British ruggedness will see us thro’! More tea chaps, it’s jolly chilly hereabouts?

  24. All of this talk about Melbourne and Adelaide being so hot. I live in Brisbane in the subtropics and our summer is just normal . Actually a lack of hot days this summer. Just look at the map of Australia and you will see that Melbourne and Adelaide are pimple sized spots considering the size of Australia. Australia is almost the same area as the United states.

  25. The only forecasts the Met Office get right are the ‘Actual’ real time Aviation forecasts! Anything else changes like the wind.

    And we pay fortunes for massive computers to increase the Met Office ‘predictions’.

    4 days ago there was no indication of heavy snow on their 5 day forecast page!

  26. Justin Ritchie (19:31:50) :
    I thought one of the common predicted outcomes of global warming is that the arctic melt would destroy heat current flows in the atlantic ocean, wouldn’t a cold UK winter confirm that?

    That theory is based on the notion that a large flood of fresh water into the North Atlantic would stop the circulation. But there has been no such large flood of fresh water.

    This cold spell is a good old garden variety cold weather cycle. There is an ocean heat / cold oscillation called the Pacific Decadel Oscillation (PDO) that has shifted to the ‘cold’ phase. This is thought to be a 30 year or so cycle.

    There is also the possibility that the present near zero sunspot level (that implies a low solar output and low magnetosphere) are what’s causing the cold.

    What’s most certain is that, be it sun or oscillations of ocean heat, it isn’t people making it happen. The AGW predictions were pretty much all calling for hotter. They got it wrong.

  27. Aussie John (22:08:36) :
    Will the current run of high temps in Australia counter the cooler weather in the Northern hemisphere so that the ‘global temp’ still works out to be increasing?

    Adelaide and Melbourne are breaking records for highest temps and longest run of 40C+ temps (it was 46C in Adelaide last week).

    We have our ’scientists’ now warning us that 50C is possible in the future. Of course they do not specify how long into the future, degree of certainty or that they will resign whatever government paid positions they hold if they are wrong.”

    Aussie John – as an Adelaide resident who survived the 45.7 C heat the other day, the hottest since 1939 when it was a bit over 46C (and Adelaide was about a quarter the size that it is today), I have to wonder how they can suggest that we will all of a sudden get to 50C when the 46C record has stood for 70 years and wasn’t broken by conditions that were ideal for high temps. Our Minister for Climate Change (note, that’s not Minister Combating Climate Change, but rather FOR it, like a proponent) Penny Wong, who is sadly a South Australian, suggested that the heat we had, and are still going through, is the sort of thing we are predicted to have to endure with CC upon us. Most South Australian’s expect some heat waves in summer, its a fact of life, and conditions had been rather cool in December and the first part of January.

  28. Aussie John (22:08:36) :
    Will the current run of high temps in Australia counter the cooler weather in the Northern hemisphere so that the ‘global temp’ still works out to be increasing?

    Well, you’ve just put your finger on one of the big issues in how the whole Global Warming thing is defined. There is no standard for how many thermometers to average together and where they are to be located.

    Want to make the global average temperature lower? Put some more thermometers in Canada and Alaska…

    So will Australia be enough to counter Britain? Don’t know. Count up your thermometers and see who’s going to win… Just don’t think that the ‘average global temperature’ number means anything real…

  29. Nice picture of Piccadilly. We were predicted lots of snow in Norfolk. Only a couple of dustings so far. But airports closed everywhere according to the radio. School closures etc. Shame. No lessons on AGW today!
    This is just normal. I remember it snowed on Boxing Day 1962 and we still had the snow in our garden in early April 1963. I am not a climate scientist so I just call it weather.

  30. Been keeping an eye on the Arctic ice extent. Rate of increase has slowed right down. Hoping it is wind compacting the baby ice. Makes it harder to melt in summer.

  31. In a post supposedly comparing forecasts to observations, you’d think you might find some numbers. But no, apparently the author thinks that the mere fact that it’s snowing means it must be colder than average.

    Let’s look at the data. Someone linked to the CET. Over the whole period, the average temperatures in November and December are 6.04 and 4.08°C respectively. In 2008, the temperatures were 7.0 and 3.5 °C. Thus, the two thirds of winter so far has been, at 5.25°C, warmer than the average of 5.06°C.

  32. The Met Office is demonstrably unable to predict even 24 hours in advance. If you want to see a demonstration of this, for something as simple and useful as whether it is going to rain while you are out for your afternoon walk, proceed as follows.

    Go one of the regional sites. Lets pick for instance Telford. Go to the main site

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/uk_forecast_weather.html

    Now pick a region from the left hand menu – you want West Midlands

    Now pick Telford from the second drop down menu below it.

    You will see their five day forecast for Telford in the main part of the screen. It was probably issued several hours ago. So now all you have to do is go to their rainfall radar page, which is updated every half hour, and see if it is now doing what they said it would a few hours earlier. The rainfall radar page is here:

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/radar/

    And you can run an animated series of shots to see how fast its moving or changing.

    Our experience is that if you want to know if it is going to rain where you are, today or tomorrow, their forecasts are pretty much useless. On the other hand, get a bit closer to the event, and you can see for yourself that the rain is or is not coming towards you and how strong it is.

    People have mentioned how disastrously wrong their longer term forecasts have been. Summers which are supposed to be warm and dry in the Spring turn out to be the wettest for a century. Winters which are supposed to be warm are freezing cold and vice versa. Parts of the country which are supposed to be dry are shoulder deep in water and the army is called out. Ask Gloucester. And parts that were supposed to be wet are dry as a bone.

    OK, they cannot forecast 24 hours ahead, and they cannot forecast 4-6 months ahead. Can they then forecast several years ahead? Well no. They recently replaced their standing forecast of increased linear warming with one of a sort of dip followed by rise. No real reason was given, but the fact is, it was wrong. The dip is happening, which was easy to forecast since we were in it at the time. Will the rise? No idea, and neither have they.

    We need to pay attention to the record. I don’t think they are unusually incompetent, its rather that we simply do not know how to do this. When a map of what is happening now is of more value to the user than a forecast based on that map, the time has come to remain silent. As for forecasting 30 years out? Forget it. Keep trying, but in the privacy of your own home. Done in public, its embarrassing.

  33. If everyone wants to remain self-consistent, we should say that both the English and Australian current weathers don’t mean a thing. What would be interesting is a statistics of high/low records over time to check if there’s some pattern.

    Nevertheless, I had the vague idea that GCMs were predicting windy and wet winters for Northern Europe and very dry summers for Southern Europe. Can someone confirm this?

  34. Like FatBigot says let nature tell the tale as the hedgehogs seem to know what’s happening, unlike those forecasters and their fancy expensive boxes with electronics in.

    And on a completely unscientific note, it’s my birthday tomorrow and almost without fail it snows at this time of year in England. Or gets too cold and we get ice. My Mum says I was 3 weeks late because of the snow in 59 and there was still snow on the ground when I finally made an appearance. From memory, it’s building all the snowmen I remember most of all and guess what….I’m going to build one today! Hurrah for global warming, I say. More snow please!

  35. Anyway, I’m still wondering why this snow receives a complete topic (not seen in 20 years?) while South Australia, its 46 degrees, power outages and 30 or so dead is completely overlooked by our good friend Anthony?

    And what about the South American drought that killed dozens of beef?

    Or the quite impressive increase of global temperature in January? This would make a great post, really. The temperature increased by 1F over a few days, but I can’t see any direct reason for that. We still have la nina, solar minimum, NH winter.. So what? Do you have any opinion on this (Anthony or anyone)?

    REPLY:

    1. because the writer lives in Britain
    2. because AFAIK, Australia’s forecasting service did not blow their forecast like UK’s met office did with their winter.

    Obviously you didn’t get the topic, see tags “forecasting weather”.

    And when UAH/RSS post their numbers, up or down, there will be a story. Jeez “Flanagan” get your own blog if you want to run the topics.

    -Anthony

  36. Sorry to post so often, but I do have a last question: temperatures not seen since 1997, right I do admit. But how do they compare to the 20th century average?

    In Belgium January was quite cold and I was expecting a “record” of some sort. The temperature was colder than average, but no record set. Even for snow fall…

  37. Winter was very harsh in some regions of north europe, included great britain, netherland and spain with some exceptional heavy snowfall in madrid.
    Counter mediterranean region and the balcans were rather mild this winter, also russia, but a cold snap will hit eastern europe in the next few days.
    Maybe Joe Bastardi’s forecast will make right

  38. Bob D (22:01:41) :
    We’re still in a La Nina, aren’t we?

    No, we are not in la Nina.

    Denis Hopkins (23:46:56) :
    Nice picture of Piccadilly. We were predicted lots of snow in Norfolk. Only a couple of dustings so far. But airports closed everywhere according to the radio. School closures etc. Shame. No lessons on AGW today!
    This is just normal. I remember it snowed on Boxing Day 1962 and we still had the snow in our garden in early April 1963. I am not a climate scientist so I just call it weather.

    it used to be normal, this sort of winter used to come around once every five years or so, now its once every twenty years. The difference between weather and climate.

    Justin Ritchie (19:31:50) :
    I thought one of the common predicted outcomes of global warming is that the arctic melt would destroy heat current flows in the atlantic ocean, wouldn’t a cold UK winter confirm that?

    The Gulf stream is still intact, you can see its signature nicely here. http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/data/anomnight.1.29.2009.gif

    Steven Goddard (19:41:09) :

    I’m guessing though that there isn’t much melting going on the Arctic during the winter with temperatures averaging -30C.

    An obvious statement, was you expecting it to?

  39. First thing for American readers: ‘the heaviest snow in 20 years’ doesn’t mean it’s that much! Anything more than 6-8 inches in the South of England is a rarity. In my lifetime (born 1964) I can only remember about 3 big snowstorms in London – 1979 was one – about 1ft+ in December; and one in the mid-1980s.

    Second, we get our big snow storms in those relatively rare years when the continental high comes further west in winter so the atlantic fronts meet cold air or a front comes on those horrible easterlies from the frozen Russian steppes. That’s what’s about to happen this year. It’s unusual because our normal weather is the atlantic westerlies/southwesterlies which is why we have a damp and wet feel to winter usually……..no mile-high stadium annual blizzards interrupting football matches for us!

    My gut feel, to compare like with like, you need to compare the years where easterlies predominate to get a first pass on whether the climate in UK is going up or down. So far, this winter is nothing like 1947 or 1962/3 so we’re probably starting to come down from a high, rather than going into a slump……

    But it’s good for the Met to be challenged – they are not Gods, they are recipients of taxpayers money……….

  40. Using MMGW climate models to forecast seasonal weather is plainly stupid.

    As has been shown the existing modelling process is only useful for medium term forecasting after a trend has been set, not short term; and is utterly useless for long term predictions, i.e. climate change. You would be better flicking a coin to predict the weather and the climate.

  41. Sixteen cms of snow outside my front door this morning! No buses running in London, train services reduced, London City, Luton and Heathrow airports closed. The heaviest snow in these parts, they’re saying, for eighteen years. Now if only it was Christmas Day instead of Monday morning in Feb…

  42. Mary Hinge: No, we are not in La Nina

    Better tell NOAA:

    ENSO Cycle: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions
    Update prepared by Climate Prediction Center / NCEP 26 January 2009

    Summary

    •Atmospheric and oceanic conditions reflect La Niña.

    •Negative equatorial SST anomalies persist across the central and east-central Pacific Ocean.

    •Based on recent trends in the observations and model forecasts,La Niña conditions are likely to continue into Northern Hemisphere Spring 2009.

  43. Wasn’t this, too, part of the forecast of the UK Met Office? “In contrast to last year’s exceptionally mild winter, this year is likely to feel somewhat colder and although the forecast of a milder winter is good news, we should still be prepared for the risk of colder spells at times.” And since mild or cold are measured relative to the norm period of 1961 to 1990, I would rather think, that the UK Met Office possibly has done a good job, contrary to the believe of most people here in this blog. To judge this, you need to have objective data of the whole winter rather than anecdotes.

  44. Will the current run of high temps in Australia counter the cooler weather in the Northern hemisphere so that the ‘global temp’ still works out to be increasing?

    I think that when the UAH figures are released we’ll find the NH has not been “cooler”. December in the NH was warmer than the 1979-97 average and January is also likely to be warmer.

  45. This has not been a particularly harsh winter in the UK. We get a bit of snow in England and think it cold. They get lots of snow in Scotland and it does not get a mention in the London news organisations. I remember colder winters in the 50s and 60s. My parents remember warmer winters in the 30s. Grandparents had colder winters at the turn of the 1900s.

    Mary Hinge:
    it used to be normal, this sort of winter used to come around once every five years or so, now its once every twenty years. The difference between weather and climate.

    I tend to think of climate as something associated with a particular region. Periodic changes in weather I tend to think of as normal changes in weather.
    Climate change would be where normal variation is exceeded beyond norms and stays changed. I am sure this is not a technical definition. However, I suspect it is a common lay perception.

  46. January 2008 monthly averages:

    Melbourne about 18 days below historical average temperatures.

    London about 19 days below historical average temperatures.

  47. Let’s look at the data. Someone linked to the CET. Over the whole period, the average temperatures in November and December are 6.04 and 4.08°C respectively. In 2008, the temperatures were 7.0 and 3.5 °C. Thus, the two thirds of winter so far has been, at 5.25°C, warmer than the average of 5.06°C.

    The Met Office winter forecast relates to Dec-Jan-Feb, i.e. Nov not included. Also, “normal” is defined as the mean temperatures for the period 1971-2000. UK temperatures for the first 2 months of the 2008/09 winter have been below normal. This, though, means very little in terms of the NH as a whole. The large land masses of Russia and Asia have been above average which has more than cancelled out the cold weather in W. Europe and the US.

  48. Brian Johnson,
    “And we pay fortunes for massive computers to increase the Met Office ‘predictions’.
    4 days ago there was no indication of heavy snow on their 5 day forecast page!”
    Well, now you know why they need a new super-computer! They can’t even forecast the next sunrise, let alone the weather for 4 days or the climate for a century.

    Flanagan,
    I can’t speak for the UK, but in Germany it is official: January was 1.5°C colder than the 1961-1990 average.

  49. With some of the comments about how hot is has been in much of SE-Aust over the lest week or so and how our illustrious Minister of Climate Change Penny Wong referred to it as “climate change in Action”, I was reminded of how from Oct 31, 1924 to April 7, 1925, the small town of Marble Bar in Western Australia celebrated 160 continuous days where the daily max temp exceeded 38C (100F).

    It wasn’t called Global Warming back in 1924. It was just a hot summer.

  50. For the Aussie comments and any comparisons between London and Adelaide, the January summary for Australia is out and it makes for interesting reading:

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/month/aus/summary.shtml

    The BOM actually states that conditions in the Pacific are trending more away from La Nina to neutral although La Nina normally brings a wetter and cooler north.

    Hard to make a comment on global warming or cooling in OZ in Jan 2009, but I am sure the rest of the year will be fascinating reading for both sides.

  51. D. Hopkins
    in the 50s and 60s the earth was in a cooling phase (even thoug CO2 was rising)
    in the 80s and 90s the earth was in a warm phase. There’s ample evidence that show the sun is the main driver here.
    Keep in mind London got snow in October, and is again socked with another snow storm. And people will know that it has been colder when they get their heating bills.

    And if people believe that it’s still warmer than normal, then they ought to ask themselves if they want it to get even colder. (Installing energy light bulbs isn’t going to normalise the climate). I think only total morons would buy into that.

  52. And since mild or cold are measured relative to the norm period of 1961 to 1990,

    I think they tend to use 1971-2000 now unless otherwise stated. Either way the winter is colder than normal thus far.

    I would rather think, that the UK Met Office possibly has done a good job, contrary to the believe of most people here in this blog.

    Met Office seasonal and annual forecasts have been utterly abysmal. A 5-day forecast is the limit of their capabilities which would be fine if they didn’t employ a huge army of staff (including PR dept) and cost the taxpayer millions.

  53. Monday 10:30am GMT 25 miles south east of London. 7 inches of snow where we are and more coming. I was talking to a neighbour who has lived here for over 30 years. He said he has never seen this much so snow in all that time. So a 30 year local record at least.

    Really chilling this global warming isn’t it?

  54. My point is that most people do not expect an AVERAGE winter and an AVERAGE summer each year. We expect variation. Those of us old enough also expect cyclical changes. Such changes are not necessarily caused by anything we do.

  55. Flanagan (00:52:58) :
    Anyway, I’m still wondering why this snow receives a complete topic (not seen in 20 years?) while South Australia, its 46 degrees, power outages and 30 or so dead is completely overlooked by our good friend Anthony?”

    Please feel free to start your own blog on this subject and any others that take your fancy and see if you get any takers. That’s how Anthony started I’m sure.

    As I live in South Australia I’m experiencing it first hand. The record temperature for Adelaide was set in 1939 and this time round the temp came up a bit short, even though the weather bureau has moved to a more urban site from the site in the parklands and there is probably 3 times the population now compared to 1939. We expect heatwaves in summer here, so while this one is a bit more intense than the usual ones, it is really only weather, as the rest of the country, apart from Victoria, has not been very warm.

  56. Steven Goddard,
    1. Snow in London in October, Guardian:
    “The cold snap arrives, bringing the first October snowfall in London since 1934 Link to this video ”

    2. Snow again in the UK in November, Telegraf, Nov. 24:
    “The heaviest snowfall was in Aberdeen, where 14 centimetres (5.5ins)…”
    “The lowest weekend temperature was reported in rural Oxfordshire, where it sank to -21F (-6 C) overnight on Saturday.”

    3. Seattle declared a state of emergency – December 2008

    4. Ice breakers on the Elbe, Main, Mosel, Danube in Germany, Dresden -26°C, Slovenia set a new record low at -47°C – January 2009

    5. Ice skating in the canals in Holland, January 2009

    6. Snow in Dubai, January 2009

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/01/24/snow-in-united-arab-emirates/#comments

    7. Coldest winter in 35 years in Spain!
    http://klimakatastrophe.wordpress.com/2009/01/09/kaltester-winter-in-spanien-seit-35-jahren/

    8. Now snow in Britain – again!

    Just some of this winters cold headlines.

  57. January might not be a cold month globally but the fact that western Europe and north America have been cold is very politically significant. The two regions might not represent a large percentage of the globes surface however they do represent a large percentage of the worlds money. With money comes the luxury to worry about things like a slight change in the worlds temperature. Also western Europe has had a period of mild winters, this winter has been a reminder that nature is still in charge.

  58. Mary Hinge (01:04:23) :
    No, we are not in la Nina.


    My understanding (I may be wrong), gathered form the IRI site, is that we are currently in a La Nina:
    “As of mid-January 2009 SSTs are below-average across the central and eastern Pacific. These SSTs, which now constitute La Niña conditions, developed in early December 2008.”
    It seems that we exceeded the -0.5C anomaly threshold over this period (-1.1C).

    Have I got it right? If so, it seems possible that some of the high temperatures being experienced in S Australia may be due to a combination of La Nina conditions (hot in the south, cool and wet in the north) and the rather large high pressure cell off the coast. I was watching the tennis on TV, and feeling very sorry for the players in the heat.

    F Rasmin (22:51:23) :
    All of this talk about Melbourne and Adelaide being so hot. I live in Brisbane in the subtropics and our summer is just normal .


    It may also explain why further north the weather is pretty normal, as La Ninas typically only raise the temperatures on average in South-Eastern Australia.

  59. There seems to be “travel chaos” in the UK today.
    And there is a large amount of global warming to shovel off my drive too.

    More forecast, I won’t bother yet.

  60. Pierre Gosselin (02:04:33) :

    Brian Johnson,
    “And we pay fortunes for massive computers to increase the Met Office ‘predictions’.
    4 days ago there was no indication of heavy snow on their 5 day forecast page!”

    Thanks to this blog, I was able to make this prediction 9 days ago:

    “There is a sudden stratospheric warming event happening right now, and it will cause a slowdown and reversal of the polar airstreams soon. This will lead to cold siberian easterlies over europe and greenland/arctic easterlies over the northern US and Canada. I’m off to Spain for a weeks climbing and wild camping. Take care all, and wrap up for the impending severe cold spell coming in another week or so.”

  61. September/October last year I was telling anyone who’d listen, that winter 2008/09 would be cold and snowy in NW London, because the berries on the holly tree were being stripped at a furious rate by 3 or 4 fat pigeons that were alighting on the branches and gorging themselves on what was the heaviest crop of berries I have seen in 12 years. The berries were all gone before Xmas.

    This morning it’s seven inches on the decking and I’m now relaxing with a cup of coffee toasting my toes in front of a fire at just before 11 a. m. local time. As there’s more snow on the way tonight, I feel justified in anticipating some mulled wine this afternoon, after a gentle walk around the neighbourhood. It’s great being retired.

    Perry

  62. King of Cool (02:11:10) :
    The BOM actually states that conditions in the Pacific are trending more away from La Nina to neutral although La Nina normally brings a wetter and cooler north.


    Ah yes, so it does, I see it’s more up to date than the NOAA and IRI sites I visited.

    So hopefully Aus will return to normal soon – I’d hate to see our neighbours getting all flustered, particularly when the cricket is going the way it is… ;-)

  63. Aussie John (22:08:36) :

    Will the current run of high temps in Australia counter the cooler weather in the Northern hemisphere so that the ‘global temp’ still works out to be increasing?

    Adelaide and Melbourne are breaking records for highest temps and longest run of 40C+ temps (it was 46C in Adelaide last week).

    Here near Toowoomba it is positively cool. So Melb. is getting the hottest temps for over 100 years – meaning 100 years ago it was even hotter. Fact is, a high has sat stationary over the Tasman Sea for many days, the cool air right here is blowing out over the hot inland, heating up, and going down to Melbourne. The most demonstrably local phenomenon one could imagine.

  64. EU and Green envy at China-style restrictions on family size.

    Jonathan Porrit, who chairs the government’s Sustainable Development Commission (he has also been leader to both the Green Party and Friends of the Earth in the past) has been giving his eye-swivelling misanthropy an outing.

    “I am unapologetic about asking people to connect up their own responsibility for their total environmental footprint and how they decide to procreate and how many children they think are appropriate,” he opines over at the Sunday Times.

    “I think we will work our way towards a position that says that having more than two children is irresponsible. It is the ghost at the table. We have all these big issues that everybody is looking at and then you don’t really hear anyone say the ‘p’ word.”

    Mr Porrit’s own two children must be delighted to know they are “appropriate” – even though they remain an environmental blight of course. What a guilt trip to lay on your kids.

    Mr Porrit is a patron of a charmless and unpleasant organisation known as The Optimum Population Trust.

    This delightful outfit wants 43 million of us to disappear before Britain reaches its “optimal” population of 17 million. So you can imagine what they think of any new arrivals.

    Each baby, these miserablists have claimed, “will, during his or her lifetime, burn carbon roughly equivalent to 2½ acres of old-growth oak woodland – an area the size of Trafalgar Square”.

    THIS IDIOT IS AN ADVISER TO THE LAME DUCK UK LABOUR GOVERNMENT, WHAT HOPE IS THERE.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/bruno_waterfield/blog/2009/02/01/eu_and_green_envy_at_chinastyle_restrictions_on_family_size

  65. The Under Secretary of State for Defence and the Minister for Veterans, currently Kevan Jones, is the individual charged with directing and overseeing the Met Office on behalf of the Secretary of State for Defence. The ultimate responsibility and accountability lies with the Secretary of State for Defence, currently the Right Honourable John Hutton MP.

    The above is the corporate statement by the Met Office. It is government owned and funded and therfore it is not independant which is pretty clear from any reading of their web site.

    The Chairmain is Robert Napier formerly chairman of the World Wild Life Fund he is one of new Labours Boys also.

  66. I caught one of the James May programmes yesterday, quite impressive using a solar concentrator to melt steel. I wasn’t so sure about the underwater “tide turbine” using a pair of large, twin blade aircraft-like propellors to generate power, I hope any passing cetaceans or large fish can avoid such obstacles.
    I’m also most embarrassed by the UK public’s inability to deal with a bit of weather!
    A few inches of snow and we have public transport grinding to a halt, “Extreme Weather Warnings” issued and every school shut!

  67. [Snip. Steven, abortion discussion does not belong on this thread. This is your second warning not to bring religious/moral issues onto this blog. There won’t be a third warning. If you want to discuss science, technology, weather, and climate issues, you are welcome to post on these issues. – Anthony]

  68. Boston (dbTechno) – A volcano in the state of Alaska called Mt. Redoubt, appears ready to erupt. Officials in the state are keeping a very, very close eye on the situation that could very well spark out of control at any time.

    Slideshow: Volcanoes TOKYO – A volcano near Tokyo erupted Monday, shooting up billowing smoke and showering parts of the capital with a fine ash that sent some city residents to the car wash and left others puzzled over the white powder they initially mistook for snow.

    Mount Asama erupted in the early hours of Monday, belching out a plume that rose about a mile (1.6 kilometers) high, Japan’s Meteorological Agency said.

  69. Alan, thanks for that link to netweather.tv – excellent site.

    Those downplaying this UK winter storm are burying their heads in the snow. Even the BBC have just said this is the heaviest snowfall for 18 years – and it’s only just started, so what records will be broken by the end of it still remains to be seen.

    And this cannot be fobbed off as just ‘weather’. The UK climate has been deteriorating for a couple of years now and this current storm is just part of an unusually cold winter so far and there is surely more to come. Recent winters have been mild with the occasional cold spell; this winter has been cold with the occasional mild spell (but even then with below average temps).

    Of course this is likely just the first of the cold winters to come, so we’d better get used to it again.

  70. Both record cool and warm happens in different locations every year. Always has and always will. The thing I think is so strange about the “Global Warming” crowd is that they point out one, ignore the other and call it science.

  71. The Porrit article just goes to prove what a lot of us believe about the hard Green movement. Read Melanie Phillips over at the Daily Mail for a spectacularly hard hitting comment. If you look at AGW / Ocean Acidification and all the rest of the big global scares through the Green lens, you will see who is driving them and why.

  72. Flanagan (00:46:43) :
    I had the vague idea that GCMs were predicting windy and wet winters for Northern Europe and very dry summers for Southern Europe.

    You seem to have quite a few vague ideas. GCM’s come up with a broad range of them too.

    Can someone confirm this?

    Maybe you could before you come back? I doubt if anyone else is going to go on a haggis hunt looking for it.

  73. My forecast issued in October:

    “On balance I think the coming winter will be colder and drier than the long term average, possibly by a surprising margin but much depends on the winter jet stream which can be very unpredictable in Western Europe.

    Last winter was, as they say, warmer than the average here and in W Europe. However that was during a colder than average N Hemisphere winter overall.

    What happened was that the plunges of cold air over N America distorted the jet stream which then approached us persistently from the South West bringing frequent flows of mild air.

    Since the recent global cooling trend has intensified since last winter I suspect that the jet stream will this year push more often into the Mediterranean thus cutting off the supply of warm air to us. If that happens then the Greenland and Scandinavian high pressure cells will affect us more than for many years past and give us persistent cold.”

  74. Flanagan: (regarding baselines)
    Compare it with the baseline of the bronze age? or each of the 4 previous interglacials which all saw higher temps than the current one???
    Your 1950 baseline comparison is useless as it all depends where you choose a starting point. Just because we are at the top of the temperature hill doesn’t mean we are still going up it! Even when temps start to decline, we are still at above average temps but the overall temp has not been rising past 1998 levels. According to the ghg model (CO2 accounts for at least 60% of forcings) the decrease in temps over the past 10 years COULD NOT have happened, and thus reality disproves these models.
    I suggest you desist with your arrogant remarks and pointless arguments, perhaps create your own blog if this one fails to live up to your expectations.

  75. Hi,

    1) Someone said few posts back that UK MET will publish spring(?) forecast in later February. I found this:
    Seasonal forecasts – indications for the next three months
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/world/seasonal/

    2) I called it Great Highs Band around the North Pole:

    It is the first time I saw “European High” connected with “Greenland High” over “warm” Atlantic. Perhaps the GHB will develop into something bigger and will “flood” lower lattitudes with polar air?

    Regards

  76. The whole country is grinding to a halt because of a bit of snow. Of course the Met Office and government have told us we’ve got global warming and what mild winters we are going to have, so nobody is prepared anymore.

  77. The impact of the Sudden Stratospheric Warming event is a little uncertain.

    First, this event is the biggest on record.

    Second, sometimes these events result in extremely cold temps at the surface about 2 weeks to 8 weeks after the event.

    Sometimes, they result in very warm conditions at the surface afterward.

    Sometimes there is no impact at all.

    It really depends on whether the above average temps in the stratosphere can migrate downward to the troposphere and the surface or whether the warm conditions just leak out into space.

    Usually, the weather stops coming mainly from the west and it will sometimes comes from the east and north instead. That is not good news for UK weather regardless of the overall impact since the warm conditions are west of the UK and the cold conditions are east and north.

  78. Porrit

    At least he has helped in a useful way

    1 If you believe in AGW ( I don’t) then forget all the stuff about what what causes more CO2, freight, passenger aircraft, heating etc. It’s us humans so the easiest way to get to the EU’s fanatsy CO2 reductions is to slaugher the apporpriate % of the population.

    2

  79. Whoops backspace error

    Porrit

    At least he has helped in a useful way

    1 If you believe in AGW ( I don’t) then forget all the stuff about what what causes more CO2, freight, passenger aircraft, heating etc. It’s us humans so the easiest way to get to the EU’s/UK’s fantasyy CO2 reductions is to slaugher the apporpriate % of the population.

    2 If 1 does not work, start on our way back to the 50s or maybe 1900s by taking away electricty so that we can all go back to the dark ages.

    3 Confirmed that the greens are really misanthropic fascists.

    Melanie Phillips in the Daily Mail writes eleoquently on the subject today.

    Cheers

    Paul

  80. Lots of discussion about temperatures and weather in Australia. This is a continent, not just a country, and weather systems operate all over it. There’s a big tropical wet in the north, 3000km away in the south it’s 40C+ and torrid, here 1500k on the east coast is the usual summer, 25-35C and cooling onshore tradewinds. 35000k away the west has its own weather system. The centre is having floodss. You cannot discuss weather or climate in Australia as if it is an entity.

    We are having a typical summer, so is the south, so is the north (which means, a a bit of everything).

  81. I should also add, last easter in Spain we got caught in the Picos de Europas for a day and a half when a late blizzard came through from the north, and again in the Spanish Pyrenees a week later. Very late weather systems according to the locals, who were hoping for global warming.

  82. All the talk about how this is “weather” and not “climate” obscures the fact that climate varies “on all timescales.” From MJO to Milankovitch cycles, climate is naturally variable. The signal failure of the UK Met and the NOAA/NWS/CPC is to think that these natural climate cycles have been overtaken by an upward trend (warming, anthropogenically caused) that is more predictable than nature’s messy cycles. But this is dogma, not science. No one has yet found a way to extract the AGW trend from all the “noise” that nature makes in the data.

  83. E.M.Smith:”What’s most certain is that, be it sun or oscillations of ocean heat, it isn’t people making it happen. The AGW predictions were pretty much all calling for hotter. They got it wrong”
    That´s right, but we must never forget to remind them, whenever they call it “Climate Change” that they used to call it “Global Warming”, and ask them where to find that “global warming”.

  84. In 2005 two Russian solar physicists bet UK solar “expert” Dr. James Annan $10,000 that the globe would be cooler, not warmer, ten years hence. Annan should be setting aside some money.

  85. Bob D (02:38:57) :
    My understanding (I may be wrong), gathered form the IRI site, is that we are currently in a La Nina:
    “As of mid-January 2009 SSTs are below-average across the central and eastern Pacific. These SSTs, which now constitute La Niña conditions, developed in early December 2008.”
    It seems that we exceeded the -0.5C anomaly threshold over this period (-1.1C).
    Have I got it right?

    A la Nina did not form this SH summer, this is covered in this recent WUWT post https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/01/20/its-official-la-nina-is-back/

    Alan Wilkinson (01:34:30) :
    Summary
    •Atmospheric and oceanic conditions reflect La Niña.

    I have made bold the key word. if you read the above link it will give a better picture.

    Stephen Wilde (05:42:57) :
    Since the recent global cooling trend has intensified since last winter…

    Care to substantiate this? the evidence doesn’t support your claim http://www.remss.com/data/msu/monthly_time_series/RSS_Monthly_MSU_AMSU_Channel_TLT_Anomalies_Land_and_Ocean_v03_2.txt
    For current near surface temperatures http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps
    One degree F warmer than this time last year…doesn’t seem like intesified cooling since last winter does it!

  86. Hello Steven

    I agrre entirely that the Mett Office has gone gung ho for AGW, however I think this started un Thatcher and now the Labour party in the UK want to use the Metto as a propaganda for AGW and gimmicks about how UKMO workwith the National Health Service to predict the weather and save lives. This is so feeble its untrue yet for agovernment whose hospital are now seen as the best place to go to contract a fatal bug like MRSA and Staph C.
    I used to visit the MetO shop in Holborn London back in the seventies and those days they were emphatic they dealt with weather and not climate.

    Nowdays the very website is called ‘Weather and Climate Change’ As I’v’e said being part of the ministry of defence they are seen as a sort of Pravda to promote ideologically driven AGW.

    I’d love to be at their weekly briefings as theydiscuss their models and the Climate Act passed a law November 2008.

    I’d also be very interested in the politics of the Meto appoinments.

  87. Perry Debell (03:05:45) :

    September/October last year I was telling anyone who’d listen, that winter 2008/09 would be cold and snowy in NW London, because the berries on the holly tree were being stripped at a furious rate by 3 or 4 fat pigeons that were alighting on the branches and gorging themselves on what was the heaviest crop of berries I have seen in 12 years. The berries were all gone before Xmas.

    The same happened to my holly as well, unusually it was Ringed Doves which haven’t been much in evidence previously. For the first time in many years I had a problem finding enough for Christmas decorations.

    Despite this forecast from the Met Office:
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/seasonal/winter2008_9/

    having read discussions on this and other blogs I have gained some kudos at home and work by forecasting a more severe winter in Derby than we have experienced for a number of years. Even if the cumulative amount of snow, so far, where I live is less than 4 inches (10cm).

  88. thank god global warming exists or we would have snow in early feb (sarcasm)

    the north west of england is getting a lot more snow, i have never felt it as cold. i remember once it snowed in may (on my birthday so i remember). that was in the late 70;s i think.

    if only gore was trapped in a snowstorm. that really would make me laugh.

  89. Alex: yes indeed. Could it be related to the AGW prediction that the upper atmosphere should be cooling while the lower part is heating?

  90. De during the last cold spell in Britain – about two weeks ago, I drafted a 1000 word article local press on why the MetOffice had failed to predict the cold winter – or had in fact thought it would be milder than usual – but it got delayed and then the moment seemed to have passed, however, it came out today – in the Bristol-based Western Daily Press (they have a website) on a day when the West Country is under snow for the first time in 8 years since I have been here – the snow normally missed the Somerset Levels – and today they are carpeted.

    It will be interesting to see how much flak I get. Or the paper gets. There is virtually no criticism of the forecasting in the main national newspapers and no reference to alternative explanations – solar cycles, jetstream, ocean oscillations.

    The take up by a regional newspaper is a start!

  91. Bet if you looked at past ‘predictions’ they would have a better record if they used a ‘random walk’, just like the Stock Market predictors.

  92. It’s very cold, I’m fed up with snow already, it won’t stop, there’s at least an inch on the ground, I’ll have to wear my thicker soled shoes I exepct. They don’t have a flaming clue do they! Now it’s going to freeze down tonight.

    I’d better get the beef stew in the Aga asap & open a bottle of wine, whoops I’ll only have two glasses or I’ll be accused of binge drinking.

    Another nob of coal on the fire please, Mr Crachit!

    BTW, as I type this the snow flakes are thickening again & visibility is getting worse!

    atb, Devon UK (cold)

  93. RE: Flanagan (00:52:58) :

    ***Anyway, I’m still wondering why this snow receives a complete topic (not seen in 20 years?) while South Australia, its 46 degrees, power outages and 30 or so dead is completely overlooked by our good friend Anthony?***

    What is the problem? That is all near normal.
    Read the following:

    Australian Monthly Climate Summary: January 2009
    Monday 2 February, 2009

    In Brief
    Over Australia as a whole, January 2009 was substantially wetter than normal, with slightly above normal temperatures. The national figures, however, disguised dramatic regional variations. Most of tropical Australia experienced a very wet and cool January, whereas in the south temperatures were generally well above normal – including one of the most intense heatwaves on record in the last week of the month – and much of the southeast was extremely dry.

    Details
    Temperatures:

    Maximum temperatures were 0.14°C above the long-term average (28th lowest of 60 years), but every state and territory except Tasmania was in either the top or bottom 10. After a cool start to the month, the southeast became warm from mid-month onwards, and exceptionally so during an intense heatwave in the last week, which saw the highest temperature ever recorded in Tasmania (42.2°C at Scamander on 30 January), other record highs in southern Victoria and South Australia, and the highest temperatures since 1939 in many other parts of the southeast. Melbourne (45.1°C) and Adelaide (45.7) both narrowly missed 1939 records, and both cities set records for consecutive days above 43°C with four and three respectively.

  94. To understand the climate, and to understand the disastrous implications of AGW, you must ignore the weather. All of it.

    To cite weather patterns in making an assertion about climate is boorish and unsophisticated.

    /sarcasm

  95. Alan the Brit

    Just started here on the South Devon coast a few minutes ago. We seem to have missed the complete chaos in London however-so far!

    TonyB

  96. Leif Svalgaard

    Solar activity is not ramping up from solar minimum which I believe you said had occurred in August 2008 – can you please comment if this is now becoming unusual?

    Thanks as ever.

  97. Ironically thye same kind of dichotomy is happening in South America with heat and drought in Argentina while central Brazil has had a very wet and cool January, in places coolest in decades according to the METSUL there.

    This kind of cold and snow events in Europe as described by many posters were common in the last era of cold PDO and warm AMO – especially the 1960s (best analogs for this year including all the factors were 1962/63 and 1964/65) and even more so during the time of Dickens in the early 1800s (Dalton Minimum…hmm).

  98. Alan the Brit:

    I too am in Devon (too close the the Met Office for comfort). I’m throwing more logs on the fire and watching the snow.

  99. Update from the Times Feb. 20, 2009:
    Heaviest snow in 20 years brings large parts of Britain to a halt

    The heaviest snowfall in 20 years has closed thousands of schools and caused transport chaos up the eastern side of Britain, with London and the surrounding areas the hardest hit.

    Six million bus passengers were left in the lurch as all London’s bus services were halted because of dangerous driving conditions, and every Tube line except the Victoria line was at least partially suspended.

    Many mainline commuter rail services were also cancelled or seriously delayed, and flights at London’s airports were decimated, with both of Heathrow’s runways shut, Luton and London City closed, and Gatwick and Stansted flights subject to delays and short-notice cancellations.

    Millions of commuters stayed at home rather than brave the conditions, as an estimated one in five people either worked from home or took the day off, costing industry hundreds of millions of pounds.

    The South East of England and the Pennines bore the brunt of the snowfall which began yesterday afternoon, with some of the hardest-hit areas reporting up to 1ft of snow. By the morning the heavy showers had extended as far north as southern Scotland. . . .

    “Southeastern, the UK’s busiest commuter operator, was forced to cancel all services into London with no trains running into Cannon Street, Charing Cross and parts of London Bridge and Victoria stations.

    South West Trains, which operates local and long distance routes into London Waterloo, suffered a much reduced service. A spokeswoman said: “We advise passengers not to travel unless their journey is absolutely necessary.” . . .

    Flight passengers were advised to check with their airline before leaving for the airport, after BAA reported that both Heathrow’s runways were a shut, causing more than 250 flight cancellations. . . .

    “The South West has escaped the worst of the snow, but we could see another 10cm in Greater London over the next 24 hours, and even more than that in Yorkshire and the Pennines,” said a spokeswoman for the Meteo forecasting group.

    Perhaps Svensmark’s Cosmoclimatology should be reconsidered in light of the current exceptionally low transition between sunspot cycles 23 to 24 together with possible causes of the Little Ice Age and the Dalton minimum.

  100. ” thomas (05:06:11) :

    Mary, exactly how many twenty year intervals have you observed to make that claim? Exactly.”

    I agree thomas, How do we know that we have not just had 20 years of natural warming that ended a couple of years ago an now we are back down to the every 5 year kind of snows we had when I was a child?

  101. “To understand the climate, and to understand the disastrous implications of AGW, you must ignore the weather. All of it.”

    That only applies to skeptics.

    Alarmists may continue to attribute Katrina and many other weather observations to AGW. Of course peer review is optional for those attributions.

  102. Have you noticed the title on the UK Met Office website? It’s no longer “Met Office: Weather” it’s now “Met Office: Weather and climate change”! It’s ironic really given the severe cold weather warnings they’re pumping out today!

  103. SandyInDerby (06:54:04) :

    I should have shot them for the pot. Then I’d be able to identify them. I thought they buggers waz pigeons, dang me but they might be Ringed Doves a’ta orl.

    It’s the mulled wine I tells yuh. Is weely weely gud.

    Pickled Perry

  104. I see much, almost ritual, criticism being directed at the Met Office. It’s cold in the Uk atm, this is a blog that disputes AGW, so there’s a thing…

    I’m a farmer. Last week (from about Wednesday) the Met Office forecast and the charts available via the net for today and this week began to look potentially snowy. On Thursday I decided I needed to order animal feed for today (Monday) in case it snowed up here on Dartmoor (as was with increasing certainty being predicted).

    The animal feed arrived this Monday morning… it snowed this afternoon… You wont find me criticising the Met Office…

  105. Robinson et al;-)

    Note the Met Office still claims to be the worlds leading authority on Climate Change! Who said they are, only themselves, so does that mean I am the worlds leading structural engineer because I said so? Ya boo sucks! Unfortunately I would be struck off for unprofessional conduct if I did it for real!

    atb

    PS Just got some logs in for the wood burner, wearing a tee shirt, shirt, Guernsey sweater, & padded wax jacket, & boy was it cold out there!

  106. Our office “snow day” policies border on the tyrannical. The gal from HR emails us simple tips that will help us get to work while the rest of the free world is following the police advisories to stay off the roads except in the case of medical emergency. It’s truly insane.

  107. 2009 is expected to be one of the top-five warmest years on record, despite continued cooling of huge areas of the tropical Pacific Ocean, a phenomenon known as La Niña.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2008/pr20081230.html

    And the previous two winter forecasts,

    Updated 22 December 2008
    Forecast for the remainder of Winter 2008/9

    Temperature
    UK mean temperatures are likely to be below average in January and nearer average in February.
    Mean temperatures for other parts of Europe during the rest of winter are more likely to be near average, but near or above average in south-east Europe.
    Rainfall
    Precipitation for the remainder of winter is more likely to be average, or below average over much of Europe, including the UK. However, above-average precipitation is favoured over parts of south-eastern Europe.
    Forecasts are expressed as variations from 1971-2000 averages.

    Updated 22 January 2009
    Forecast for the remainder of Winter 2008/9

    Temperature
    Mean temperatures are likely to be average or below average for the rest of winter over the UK.
    Rainfall
    Over the UK, precipitation for the rest of winter is most likely to be average, or below average.
    Forecasts are expressed as variations from 1971-2000 averages.

    From 25 September 2008 “Trend of mild winters continues”

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

  108. RW’s posting about averages for winter gives accurate figures for sure — as far as they go. But November is irrelevant, as was pointed out later, and December ’08 CET figure was as low as 228th. I’ve just generated a graph for the December temps for the whole series. I don’t see a trend at all but I’m open to correction.
    I hope someone’s going to publish the January CET figure for us now that the Met Office has decided we’re not be allowed to have it.
    Freedom on Information Act, anyone? :-)

  109. Check Heathrow Arrivals .. wanna bet Al Gore is due to arrive in town and this is just “The Gore Effect”

  110. Flanigan (00:55:46)
    How short human memory truly is! Normal “climate” for England, Canada and parts of Europe and N.A. may be more aptly described by what you would expect if there were 3-4 kilometers of glacial ice sitting above your head. We live in a period of time between Ice ages where temperatures are rarely this warm. Enjoy it while you can. People forget the hardships Europeans had surviving even the “little ice age” which by the way we are still just warming our way out of.

    We are also getting close to the point that GCM’s will begin to be invalidated by actual temperatures over the last 10 years. (http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/year-end-trend-comparison-multi-model-means-2001-2008/)

    Let’s also remember that GCM’s are really just hopped up weather models without adequate means to incorporate what really matters in terms of heat storage on this planet, the oceans. (http://climatesci.org/2009/01/29/real-climate-suffers-from-foggy-perception-by-henk-tennekes/)

    So if you think the 5 day forecast from the Met is highly unreliable, then why would you put much faith in what a souped up version predicts for 100 years from now?

    When faced with the altenative, I’d argue that It’s not that inconvenient moving your beachfront house a few meters up the hill knowing you can still grow crops in Illinois compared to having a frozen Northern Hemisphere with everyone competing to live at the equator.

  111. TonyB (08:28:32) :
    Alan the Brit
    Just started here on the South Devon coast a few minutes ago. We seem to have missed the complete chaos in London however-so far!

    It’s been snowing most of the day up here in Cheshire. Started off with around 2 inches this morning, now at around 3 inches. I love a good snowstorm, might go sledging tomorrow!

  112. An insightful article on snow:
    10 ways to cope with snow

    Heavy snow is a regular occurrence in parts of continental Europe and northern areas of Scotland. . . . how do they cope with it now?
    1. HAVE THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT
    In Tromso, in the very north of Norway, they are ready for snow, says Sture Nedby, of the city’s municipal council. . . .There are snow ploughs outside the city, diggers inside and “rotary snow cutters”. . . . People put on spiked winter tyres on 15 October and take them off again on 1 May. .
    2. NEVER LET YOUR GUARD DOWN
    . . . in Aberdeen, Scotland, Donald Morrison has proof that Britain is not always inept when it comes to handling heavy snow. . . .
    3. GET USED TO SNOW
    . . .Karl-Osvald Saeboe, headmaster of the Reinen Skole in Tromso, laughs at the notion that the school would close because of snowfall. . . .”Once in 1998 we had to close because we got one-and-half metres of snow in two or three hours. . .” . . . even on Tromso’s record snow depth day in April 1997, the school got through. “There was two metres 40 of snow and we never had to close.” . . .hundreds of pupils outside my window playing in the snow . . .is in our culture.. .”
    4. LEARN TO ACCEPT DEFEAT
    Even the best prepared people will one day be faced by such extreme weather that they have to give in and accept a high degree of disruption. Tromso . . .remembers 29 April 1997 – the day the snow finally overwhelmed the city. On flat ground there lay 2.4m of snow . . .”People . . .went skiing in the streets and cars stayed where they were. People put a pole and a flag up on the car to say underneath is a car.”
    5. HAVE LOWER EXPECTATIONS
    . . .”I’m not seeing much Dunkirk spirit out there,” says Robert Penn, “. . .Compare it with how people coped during the winters of 1947 or 1963. The latter saw 60 days of Siberian weather, . . .”In 1963 about five weeks went by without a first division football match. . .”
    6. KNOW THE DRILL
    . . .As the north east of Scotland is the area in the UK most prone to snowfall, schools there close regularly in winter. . . . headteachers call an automated message service if they have decided to close their school for the day. Parents can then phone up, enter a pin number specific to their child’s school and to find out if it is shut.
    7. MAKE THE MOST OF IT
    “. . .For hundreds of years, in what was called the Little Ice Age between 1350 and 1850 – freezing winters were a fact of life in the British Isles. In 1673 Dover and Calais were joined by ice, says Mr Penn, and the freezing of the River Thames in London in 1684 led to that year’s Great Frost Fair. “There was a huge town in the middle of the river. . . .”
    8. LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCE
    . . .England’s freezing winters of the 17th Century lead to a demand for insulation in homes . . .the winter of ’47 had some hand in ushering in central heating in homes.. . .
    9. MOVE THE SNOW TO WHERE IT’S NEEDED
    In Tromso, for an upcoming celebration . . .snow will be moved into the city centre and then removed afterwards. . . .
    10. MOVE YOURSELF
    Head to Singapore where there is no record of snow fall. . . .

    See Full Article

  113. The talk about Dalton Minimums and Little Ice Ages in these comments scares me a helluva lot more than any of the AGWer’s blather, or one snowstorm.

    But if the result of all the controversy concerning climate results in better temperature measurement and accurate weather/climate prediction, hey, I think we should spend a few taxpayer’s bucks on it.

    However, I see no evidence whatsoever that long-term predictions come anywhere close to being reliable. Weather is still a local phenomenon, and climate, well, if reliable data could possibly be obtained…….maybe future behaviour could be guessed at. As it lays today, it’s anyone’s opinion what the future holds, and likely, 99% of today’s opinions are wrong. Lots of time and money are being wasted on something that ultimately may be impossible to do.

  114. Haha Flanagan, I don’t think you can jump on that conclusion just yet, this warming seems to be short term, and is just an abrupt spike in the data, so I wouldn’t say that it has been warming long enough to verify the AGW hypothesis,,, interesting to see what will happen but still too early to know for sure.

  115. Paul

    Now 8pm and we have had only one shower so the ground is bartely white. The main snow seems to be falling over North Devon

    TonyB

  116. I think this is worth pointing out. If no UK government officer will ask, then why not WUWT. The Met Office has been doing these 3-6 month (season) predictions coverage for the last 3 years.
    They have been successfully getting some pretty heavy, unexamined media coverage that must be very nice for them. The fact that they have been statistically been wrong from stem to stern in all of them for the last three years, kinda gets missed in the headlines I notice .
    I understand the idea that weather isn’t climate, but the strange category of 3 month prediction that the Met Office has undertaken seems to only point to a political expectation, rather than actual scientific worth.
    The Met Office can predict weather well to a week ahead. I suspect they are not unusual in that in comparison to other nations. I guess I will have to wait till I am old to finally hear the inside skinny about what went on with the guys in the met Office weather department and their discussions with the people with the overextended prophet tea leaf reader tendencies 

  117. Green is in your future.
    ——————————–
    California’s ‘Green Jobs’ Experiment Isn’t Going Well

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123336500319935517.html?mod=djemEditorialPage
    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was all smiles in 2006 when he signed into law the toughest anti-global-warming regulations of any state. Mr. Schwarzenegger and his green supporters boasted that the regulations would steer California into a prosperous era of green jobs, renewable energy, and technological leadership. Instead, since 2007 — in anticipation of the new mandates — California has led the nation in job losses.

    The environmental plan was built on the notion that imposing some $23 billion of new taxes and fees on households (through higher electricity bills) and employers will cost the economy nothing, while also reducing greenhouse gases. Almost no one believes that anymore except for the five members of the California Air Resources Board (CARB). This is the state’s air-quality regulator, which voted unanimously in December to stick with the cap-and-trade system despite the recession. CARB justified its go-ahead by issuing what almost all experts agree is a rigged study on the economic impact of the cap-and-trade system. The study concludes that the plan “will not only significantly reduce California’s greenhouse gas emissions, but will also have a net positive effect on California’s economic growth through 2020.”

    “Energy prices will rise, and major capital investment will be needed in public transit and new transmission lines. Industries that are energy intensive will move elsewhere.”

    “…”the economic costs don’t really matter anyway, because we are supposedly facing an environmental apocalypse.”

    Mr. Schwarzenegger fits into that camp. He recently declared: “I recommend very strongly that we move forward . . . . You will always have people saying this will lose jobs.”

    Meanwhile, the state is losing jobs, a lot of them. California’s unemployment rate hit 9.3% in December, up from 4.9% in December 2006. There are now 1.5 million Californians out of work. The state has the fourth-highest housing foreclosure rate in the nation, has lost more businesses than any state in recent years, and is facing a $40 billion deficit. With cap and trade firmly in place, the economic situation is only likely to get worse.

    Green policies have a tendency to push states into the red.

  118. The HADCET anomaly based on 1961-1990 for January is given as -0.5C yet Philip Eden in the Daily Telegraph states that the January CET of 3.1C was 1.1C below the 1971-2000 average. Do none of these people have a common starting base or would that be too much to ask? And if climate is weather over time, who decided that 30 years averages should be the yardstick rather than 50 or 100?

  119. Yep, Al Gore is right ; ) …The headlines from The Guardian prove it:

    Day the snow came – and Britain stopped
    Roads, railways airports closed
    Heaviest snow in 18 years
    Storm likely to cost UK over £1bn
    Sam Jones and Audrey Gillan
    guardian.co.uk,
    Monday 2 February 2009 19.25 GMT

  120. Phil’s Dad (16:06 1/02/09) sorry to spoil the joke but Eros is alumin(i)um (the fountain is bronze).

  121. Have the predictions or mild winters influenced decisions on expenditure on snow ploughs and gritters?

    “As London ground to a virtual standstill Mayor Boris Johnson also faced questions over the inability of the capital’s infrastructure to cope with six inches of snow.
    Mr Johnson admitted London did not have enough snow ploughs to keep the roads clear and defended the decision to suspend all bus services, which left thousands of angry commuters stranded.
    It was the first time in living memory that all London buses have been stopped, something which didn’t even happen during the Blitz”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/4436932/Snow-Councils-and-transport-chiefs-blamed-for-fiasco.html

  122. Richard Heg:

    You can blame the Met Office for the £1bn cost and the problems. The Met Office admits it from its press release.

    “25 September 2008

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

    Seasonal forecasts from the Met Office are used by many agencies across government, private and third sectors to help their long-term planning.”

  123. Steven Goddard:

    There are some errors in that story about the march across the Belts in 1658. It was not from Sweden to Denmark, but rather within Denmark, from Jutland to Fyn and then across the Great Belt to Seland, and it was not “the Swedish territory in the Scandinavian Peninsula” that Denmark lost – only the three southern provinces of Halland, Scania and Blekinge. Apart from that the story is essentially correct. As a matter of fact a Swedish historian once countered the usual argument that historical evidence for the LIA is just “anecdotal”, by pointing out that the fact that Scania is part of Sweden rather than Denmark must be considered rather strong evidence that the Belts really did freeze in 1658.

  124. @Pierre Gosselin (11:39:38)
    Yep, agree on that. My weather model for the local weather (Frankfurt/Germany) does predict only a short period of better temps of 2 to 4 days around Feb. 13th, then another minor cold spell and the “nicer” temperatures starting not before approx. Feb. 25th.

    By the way, TAO’s Pacific Warm Water Volume is updated, too:
    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/elnino/wwv/data/wwv.dat

  125. Mary Hinge (06:42:05) : A la Nina did not form this SH summer, this is covered in this recent WUWT post https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/01/20/its-official-la-nina-is-back/

    Ah, I see, thanks Mary, I missed that discussion. So we have La Nina conditions but not necessarily a La Nina event, because the conditions haven’t continued for more than 5 consecutive 3-month blocks. Sweet, that makes sense.

    For all the meteorologists out there, is it fair to say that La Nina conditions cause immediate weather effects, or will they form only slowly over the seasons? In other words, is a La Nina event simply a statistical nicety, or does it have any physical significance?

    Pardon the dumb questions, I’m trying to get a picture of the impact of ENSO on the reported weather, since this appears to be a common mechanism of the media – to ascribe all anomalous weather events to AGW. My reading so far suggests immediate effects, but I’d like to hear it from the experts if possible.

    Alex (05:46:26) : The cricket is going fantastic! The Proteas are back on top! :)

    I fully agree – as a “ex-Protean” living in NZ I have had a very good run recently.

  126. Here in Memphis, according to the weather underground, Memphis has had 2016 “heating degree days” since July 1. “Normal” is 1967. Last year we had 1717.

    Fairly good evidence it has been colder here this year.

  127. @Pierre,

    Frankfurt/Main Flughafen
    has had January as 3rd coldest since 1986:
    1987 -4.10
    1997 -2.50
    2009 -1.00

  128. This kind of cold and snow events in Europe as described by many posters were common in the last era of cold PDO and warm AMO – especially the 1960s (best analogs for this year including all the factors were 1962/63 and 1964/65) and even more so during the time of Dickens in the early 1800s (Dalton Minimum…hmm)

    Dickens wasn’t born until 1812 so I’m not sure how much of the Dalton Minimum period he remembered. According to the CET record there were several periods in the 19th century that were just as cold as the DM.

  129. Nigel Sherratt (12:46:40) : wrote:
    Phil’s Dad (16:06 1/02/09) sorry to spoil the joke but Eros is alumin(i)um (the fountain is bronze).
    —————
    On the assumption that you maybe thought Eros was a brass monkey, my understanding of the story Phil’s Dad (since my Dad doesn’t know a computer from his elbow, I’m assuming that’s another Phil), is that the “balls” refers to iron cannonballs, and the “brass monkey” refers to the base upon which they sat on board the ships of the time. In freezing cold weather (before the rise to prominence of carbon dioxide obviously), the differences in contraction of the two metal objects caused the “balls” to fall off their bases and roll around on the deck.

  130. Punxsutawney Phil is correct somewhere between 75 percent and 90 percent of the time, according to his followers, just like Al Gore. This year Phil sees 6 more weeks of winter in our future.

  131. As someone who remembers the 1962/3 winter, living in Essex half a mile from the nearest main road. The water main froze and we had no water for six weeks except that provided by the local bailiff in milk churns. We went to school every day and I don’t remember the country grinding to a halt.
    Barry

  132. John Finn writes:

    Dickens wasn’t born until 1812 so I’m not sure how much of the Dalton Minimum period he remembered. According to the CET record there were several periods in the 19th century that were just as cold as the DM.

    A book by A.Kingston called Fragment of 2 centuries talks about what conditions were like in the Royston area, Hertfordshire, during the Dalton Minimum on page 57. Not only were the winters cold, but their were incessant rains. The CET record, by only showing temperature records, misses out on the rainfall

  133. That the AGW clan still is selling their gloom astonishes. They seem not to want the end game as much as the gloom game. Since the end game is the transition to a non-fossil fuel based economy – why care how it is achieved? There are plenty of reasons to electrify and utilize alternatives. AGW is NOT one of them. So apparently the clan’s intent is not the achievement of an end. They defend their poorly substantiated claims even in the face of overwhelming science disproving them.

    Which brings about the conclusion that their mission is not about achieving energy independence – but something else. Pillage of the western world? Cap and trade schemes benefiting the AGW elite? Expanded government and nationalization for the AGW elite commanders? It is certainly not about climate or… science.

  134. Here in tropical north Queensland, north-east Australia, we have had ‘la nina’-like summer conditions through most of January with lots of rain and cooler conditions than normal – definitely no positive temperature feedback from water vapour in this area. We’ve also just had a mini-cyclone, “Ellie” which turned out to be just a rain depression. Lots of rain, 250 mm yesterday to 9AM (i.e. 10 inches for you Americans). While not officially a ‘la nina’, the S.O.I. has been positive for the last 7 months and is still positive (8), so I guess we can expect more rain this summer. We are of course a bit sick of the rain by now but at least we don’t get snow here … yet.

  135. It would appear that we’ll have some respite from AGW for the low level of solar activity (flux/wind/spots) for, perhaps, 30 years. It would further appear that CO2 levels will remain high, climbing higher in spite of same. And, thus, forcing, in the form of higher temp.s, et al, will certainly be in our future~

  136. Here in Sydney, the start of summer was definitely cooler than last year. We’ve had humid days, but not really hot. It was hotter in 2005, but perfectly within “norms”.

  137. I don’t see how the British are inept when it comes to snow. We hardly ever have any to talk of. If it becomes common we will become good at dealing with it. How many of us would feel totally right if we were advising the government to invest in snow equipment even with the evidence this site provides. I feel some people are making unfair comparisons in the media, it is really quite small minded.

  138. As you noted, “weather” is not “climate.” Changes in weather patterns, air currents, high and low pressure flows, a melting north polar ice cap, melting glaciers, higher sea levels, etc. are all measureable phenomena, along with measuring evidence of past weather patterns through examining ice samples from decades-old, even centuries-old ice packs. The acceleration of glacial and polar melting in recent years indicates that global warming is not only occurring, but that the process is speeding up. While it may be arguable as to how much humans have contributed to the process, the consensus among a massive preponderance of meteorologists, geologists and other climate-related scientists is that humans have contributed much ever since the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century.

    The effects of course, will create mild to extreme consequences in weather and coastal habitats, agriculture and world food supplies. The consequences will not all be negative. Some consequences might be agricultural meccas where there were once none, as well as fertile and well-rained plains possibly becoming deserts and dust bowls. Who can really know?

    It may be that if we do nothing but buffer the coastal communities with technology and engineering schemes to protect homes and businesses from rising sea levels, that nothing catastrophic may occur, other than our continued dependencies on finite fossil fuels, more wars in the Middle East and perhaps even World War III…all over control of quickly diminishing reservoirs of oil and natural gas. It is certain that we can gain from reducing toxic emissions into the air and reducing the amount of carbon monoxide. Reducing our dependency on finite non-renewable fossil fuels and developing sustainable and renewable energy sources seems like a no-brainer. We help the whole world to use the wind and the sun and other renewable energy technologies and we stop fighting each other for what we all have acces to. We do it. Enough said. Is there some sort of grading scale for the Met Office Report Card? I

  139. MH Pathfinder, recognise that all that is written on these pages is you also.

    Your own self is questioning the ephemeral phenomena and transient wisdom of scientific “certainty”. What are you truly certain of, anyhow? Your real Self is empty of all phenomena, and is just the absolute witness of the phenomenal world, which is transient, radiant, shimmering, and grounded in nothing. Science theories come and go, they are never the territory. Even the territory comes and goes, as clouds float by, nature changes and evolves, the planet shifts, the galaxies twirl in empty space of your awareness. Let go of everything, even your ego attachment to pet science theories, and vain attempts by the intellect to grasp and confine nature, to analyze it by simplistic measures of CO2 or “warming”. Science never united the world in a unity of conscious bliss before, it won’t do it now either. ONLY the recognition of your original face can do that.

  140. esin (15:55:41) :

    It would appear that we’ll have some respite from AGW for the low level of solar activity (flux/wind/spots) for, perhaps, 30 years. It would further appear that CO2 levels will remain high, climbing higher in spite of same. And, thus, forcing, in the form of higher temp.s, et al, will certainly be in our future~

    The problem with this argument is that if temperatures go down for 30 years while co2 rises, then we have to ask which driver is it which so easily overpowers co2? And how do we know the rise in the late C20th was due to co2 and not the positive phase of that stronger driver?

    You see the problem?

  141. Hi MH Pathfinder,

    I must mention that most of the evidence you cite is no longer valid after 10 years of global stability (and significant temperature decrease over the last 2-3 years. The north polar melt was mostly due to weather. The Antarctic sea ice has been above average for most of the last few years. This summer will be interesting regardless.

    I really place no merit on appeals to authority. The authorities have bought their own con, and are driven by political expediency. Their models (and dry-lab data) are in the process of being discredited.

    And even if we are gradually increasing in temperature — well, warm periods have been very good for humans in the past.

    It would be nice to have alternative energies, but if they cost 100 times the price of oil (for equal energy, accounting for inefficiencies, and inconvenience), I think we could easily starve a whole lot of people worldwide if we pursue it. Nuclear works well. The rest are useful in some marginal areas, but in general are a waste of treasure.

  142. Anthony,
    Am planning trip to GB first week of April with son. Should we bring snowshoes? Please advise what to pack! I don’t trust the Met after reading this post. :)
    Anne
    PS: Cracks me up that a bit of snow gets Britain out of whack. We just had over a foot–reminded me of being a kid. We haven’t had many good snows lately.

  143. “The effects of course, will create mild to extreme consequences in weather and coastal habitats, agriculture and world food supplies. The consequences will not all be negative.”

    How am I to distinguish this forecast from weather and natural climate variability?

  144. nothing catastrophic may occur, other than our continued dependencies on finite fossil fuels, more wars in the Middle East and perhaps even World War III…all over control of quickly diminishing reservoirs of oil and natural gas.

    I really doubt that we are running out of or even short of fossil fuels. With all the increase of use of fossil fuels since 1975 we have almost double the potential reserves that we did then. We have been discovering it faster than we have been using it up since around 1859. That does not fit any reasonable definition of “quickly diminishing”.

    Long before we run out of fossil fuels, we’ll have moved on to something else, not because of shortages, but for reasons of economic advantage. In the meantime, the world needs as much growth as possible as fast as possible because it is only growth-generated wealth that will allow us to move on from fossil fuels.

    To posit wars or even world wars over dwindling resources is contrary to all postmodern (and even modern) experience.

  145. Queen1,

    Last year there was a big snowstorm at Easter, so your snowshoes might come in handy.

    Southeast England has one of the highest densities of automobiles in the world, so it is not surprising how disruptive snow can be. Also the government keeps getting told that global warming has made snow a thing of the past. Why should they plan for it?

  146. And, thus, forcing, in the form of higher temp.s, et al, will certainly be in our future~

    I wouldn’t be so certain.

  147. Punxsutawney Phil is correct somewhere between 75 percent and 90 percent of the time, according to his followers, just like Al Gore. This year Phil sees 6 more weeks of winter in our future.

    On the other hand, if winter continues for 75% to 90% of the time and Phil predicts continuation 75 to 90% of the time, the odds are that he will be right around 75% to 90% of the time even if the distribution is random.

  148. There is upto 40% of oil still in capped off oil wells. Oil’s not going t o run out for a long time yet.

    I miss the chilliy winters days in the UK. Used to enjoy starting school in September to bright, crisp, cold days.

    Queenl, tyhe media always do over react however, it is true that the slightest bit of cold does bring transport chaos to the UK. Seriously! BR used to claim “wrong leaves” and snow on rail lines for delays. In fact snao can short out rail lines, especially the 3rd rail systems used in the south and south east.

  149. Coal lay in ledges under the ground since the Flood, until a laborer with pick and windlass brings it to the surface. We may will call it black diamonds. Every basket is power and civilization. For coal is a portable climate. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Never knew that Ralph was so politically incorrect…

  150. Someone up above mentioned the Day After Tomorrow (aka “The Global Superstorm”).

    While the initial premise is flawed, not all the mechanisms are.

    I was, a week ago Friday, up on a ridge, in Central Europe. A derecho struck. Whereas, some 15 minutes prior, there was a green lawn outside, at that time, there was rather suddenly two inches of snow. Thankfully the condition abated before feet and feet of snow were dumped.

    We are getting warning signs, and they are not warming signs. The immensity of the coming likely crisis could be too much for most people to handle.

  151. M White (13:34:00) :

    “Maybe not snow ploughs and gritters, but I think Cold Weather Payments may have been raised from £8 to £25 on this basis.”

    This year you will get £25 when the average temperature where you live is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees Celsius or below over seven consecutive days during the period from 1 November to 31 March.

    Pensioners can forget about being paid on the strength of the Met Office forecast because, according them, tomorrow is always going to be warmer.

    The day after tomorrow they will then issue a forecast update saying cold snap has arrived as predicted and it will be followed by record high temperatures, tomorrow.

    That leaves temperatures having to be zero Celsius for seven days.

    By then and the probable delay in payment, the pensioner would have frozen to death there by negating the necessity for the said payment.

    Socialist government at it’s optimum efficiency.

  152. Pat, and evanjones,

    re peak oil,

    click here for my take on this:

    http://energyguysmusings.blogspot.com/2008/09/peak-oil-not-big-deal.html

    I do not believe we can afford new nuclear plants for power in this century, as shown here (this study, with which I agree after careful analysis, concludes that power from a new nuclear plant will cost ratepayers $0.25 to $0.30 per kwh, in 2008 US dollars):

    click here

    Our power generation primarily will be by natural gas, and coal with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) for a few years, IMHO. Then the CCS requirement will likely disappear when the cooling occurs.

  153. Where is fat bigot? That guy was so big he had his own climate… (trying to stay on topic) I miss his insights…

  154. Roger, I believe I share your view on peak oil too. My post earlier relates to the inefficient extraction of oil at some sites, leaving much of it behind, as you suggest.

    I don’t believe current nuclear technology is not the way forward either, I understand there isn’t enough of the fuel if the world switched.

  155. Peak Oil was the fashionable worry when Oil was in a bull market and the need existed to bring more speculators in to push prices higher. So we got up to about $150/bl at which point several things happened –

    1) people started driving less
    2) oil sheiks started pumping much more (up to that point, keeping it in the ground had better ROI than investing the cash you got for it)
    3) alternative energy sources started becoming cost competitive.

    #3 is the key thing to keep in mind. Right now the Senate is preparing to essentially force every new grid tied “green energy” job to be unionized. Regardless of where you sit politically, that will have a simple effect – it will push the breakeven point from hydrocarbons to alternatives higher. That will give the oil sheiks and speculators the opportunity to push the price to a higher threshold once the market recovers (it will and they will). Now that higher price may just get more people to transition, but the costs to an economy are large and real and should not be waived off.

    And as the US and Europe further stratify their economies with such overhead, those countries who “cheat” and have energy policies based on lowest cost versus hypothetical environmental impacts will be better able to create wealth using mechanical leverage.

    IOW, the economic scare behind Peak Oil pales in terms of total economic impact when compared to Peak Regulation.

  156. RW (00:14:58)

    “Let’s look at the data. Someone linked to the CET. Over the whole period, the average temperatures in November and December are 6.04 and 4.08°C respectively. In 2008, the temperatures were 7.0 and 3.5 °C. Thus, the two thirds of winter so far has been, at 5.25°C, warmer than the average of 5.06°C.”

    1659-2008 Nov+Dec averages 6.04+4.08=10.48

    2008 Nov+Dec averages 7.0+3.5=10.5

    I get 0.2 degree warmer. Where do you get 5.06 from?

  157. Adam: I think your analysis lacks the fact that since 2004, oil consumption largely exceeds its production.

  158. http://www.bbc.co.uk/climate/

    Has links to 5 pages for Evidence, Impacts, Adaptation, Policies & links. I just noticed if you navigate to one of those pages the BBC website displays a banner on top of the new page that says “Just to let you know, we’re no longer updating this page.” With a link that says “more information here”. If you follow that link it displays the following.

    “We’re no longer updating this page” – What does this mean?
    We aim to make sure that all of the pages we publish on bbc.co.uk are as accurate, reliable and as useful as possible. Where a particular radio, tv series or other BBC event has ended we generally leave the related web page online, just in case visitors may find it helpful or interesting in future. However, in order to avoid confusion we add a banner notice to the page to make it clear that we’re no longer keeping these pages up to date.

    We leave these pages online for reference purposes only, and you should be aware that the information provided may be out of date or otherwise inaccurate due to the passage of time.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/help/web/mothballing/

  159. Just a lateral thought:

    Has anyone considered using the rate of snow melt across cities to get a handle on UHI? Couldn’t satellite photo’s be used in conjunction with surface measurements inside and outside a city to measure this?

  160. John Philip (09:42:27) :

    “Hey Flanagan

    To perform an informal ‘climate audit’ compare the number of hits from these two queries…

    http://tinyurl.com/bup24s
    http://tinyurl.com/dxp5dc

    What are the chances of that? Clearly the site in question needs some ‘adjustments’ to correct its inexplicable ‘bias’

    ;-)”

    Word up the pair of you.

    The world has been colder, and we have seen more deaths due to cold than warmth, since this site became as popular as it now is.

    Expect the “bias” to grow.

  161. “Flanagan (00:25:50) :

    Adam: I think your analysis lacks the fact that since 2004, oil consumption largely exceeds its production.”

    I dont understand how can we consume more than we produce?

  162. A Wod (14:48:34) :

    A book by A.Kingston called Fragment of 2 centuries talks about what conditions were like in the Royston area, Hertfordshire, during the Dalton Minimum on page 57. Not only were the winters cold, but their were incessant rains. The CET record, by only showing temperature recors, misses out on the rainfall

    The URL below links to a plot of precipitation in England and Wales since 1766. It shows rainfall (and snowfall) during the The Dalton Minimum was below the long term (1961-90) average. There is no evidence that the climate during the Dalton Minimum period was appreciably different to similar length periods both before and after the DM.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/science/monitoring/hadukp.html

    Even if the next 2 solar cycles are of similar magnitude to SC5 and SC6 there is no reason to think that this will have anything other than a tiny effect on the earth’s climate.

  163. Evan Jones (17:39:13)

    You said it as about as true as you can get, 40 years in the oil patch tells me that all the stories about oil are the same as the stock market, money !

  164. tallbloke (16:49:39) : ” The problem with this argument is that if temperatures go down for 30 years while co2 rises, then we have to ask which driver is it which so easily overpowers co2? ”

    Clearly ;) Sol’s state of being rulz (jupiter/sol perterbations mitigated by obilquity, precession, eccentricity, inclination… earth’s time spent in noctilucent clouds/solar orbital plane,,, All of which, currently, are resulting in lower magnetic flux/sun spot count and solar wind-resulting in a minor decrease in incidence while concurrently allowing for more cosmic rays/increasing cloud cover/increased albedo… and warmer stratosphereic temp which have the impact of loosening artic cold fronts on the lower latitudes… this portends for a cold feb, somewhere ;)

    ” And how do we know the rise in the late C20th was due to co2 and not the positive phase of that stronger driver? ”

    Looking back over the last 400kyr (Paleoclimate and CO2
    )
    (Changes in temperature precede changes in CO2, with a lag of around 800 years )
    Temp rise leads CO2 conc., but CO2 conc., thereafter, slows the reverse of the rise.

    ” You see the problem? ”

    Yes, we need to step back a bit for the bigger picture… CO2 is up, certainly we contribute, but solar influences rule… that said, however, we will certainly be left with higher then usual CO2 concentrations and the forcing that comes with that fact After the Solar forcing falls back to that which we call ‘normal’

    http://capnbob.us/blog/2006/08/23/correlating-sunspots-to-global-climate/

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Solar_Changes_and_the_Climate.pdf

  165. Adam Sullivan.

    Why is it always the union’s fault that high prices exist rather than the fault of the CEO’s making $150 million a year?

  166. The Costs of global cooling:
    Blizzard of anger follows London snowstorm

    The Federation of Small Businesses said the cost to Britain’s economy through lost productivity could be as high as 3 billion pounds ($4.3 billion).

    Transportation officials, business leaders and local authorities accused one another of failing to prepare for the long-predicted storm that crippled Britain’s transport network by dropping more than four inches (10 centimeters) of snow in London overnight Sunday, and another four inches Monday.

  167. My light-hearted comment at the beginning was meant to be just that. But what I may continue with is this. FrankM said something about England, and power sources. To put it simply, we have power sources that we did not have during the last “ice age”, be it mini or full blown. We have technology such as domes, insulation, nuclear energy for heat, light etc, We do need to pull our heads out and capitalize on same. NOW! Not when the SHTF, but NOW in preparation. You DO know the “those who ignore history” thing, yes?

  168. My error in accrediting statement. Apologies. Que Sera. I stand by my statement. We can survive this through technology, but only by getting TO it.

  169. Richard Heg, flanagan,

    Historically, oil consumption matches production over long intervals, but can differ a bit in the short term due to inventory changes.

    The major oil companies measure and report reserve replacement ratio, which is the amount of proved oil reserves found each year, divided by the amount of oil produced. ExxonMobil is the best at this, but even their replacement ratio is just under 1.0. Shell has had a difficult time in getting their numbers right, even after taking a couple of whacks at it.

    The worldwide situation is difficult to fathom, due to national oil companies and lack of access to good data. We have estimates only.

    Roger E. Sowell
    Marina del Rey, California…
    where it is still 80 F and sunny…with rain in the forecast! (We could use a LOT more rain…even snow…)

  170. Hello all. I’ve been having fun emailing the Met Office and the UK Climate Impacts Programme.

    Now, the UK Climate Impacts Programme Director has written to me, and in the text is the comment “In a generally drying climate”. I immediately pointed out to him that the Met Office records disagree with this http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/hadleycentre/obsdata/HadEWP.html I then thought it appropriate that he should also know about Dr Myles Allen, head of the Climate Dynamics group at Department of Physics, University of Oxford, today stating, “we have always expected precipitation to increase.”

    It appears to me quite clear that none of them have a clue what they’re talking about. Here you have two people ‘on the same side’ who state two different things about what we are supposed to witness in both local and global climate change. The Director of the UK Climate Impacts Programme also believes that man-made global warming started ” from around the middle of the nineteenth century”. Really? Are you sure?

    Dear, oh dear, oh dear.

  171. John Finn writes:
    There is no evidence that the climate during the Dalton Minimum period was appreciably different to similar length periods both before and after the DM.

    But H. Lamb says that the weather was exceptional in Dickens’ childhood during the DM in
    Climate history and modern man on page 249. He does say this could have been due to the eruption of the Tambora volocano.

  172. Roger Sowell (12:00:33) :

    I don’t recall the source but I liked this explanation of why it’s always true that “we are going to run out of oil in 30 years”. It’s just the investment horizon. Very few people are interested in an investment over that time frame, but quite a few more would be interested in, say, 20 years. So if it looked like supplies could runout in 20 years, more people would go looking and in the usual way things work they would all find some and supplies increase until the 30 year mark is in place again, and everyone stops looking.

  173. To alantru (10:08:48) :2/02

    You may want to ask your “gal from HR” whether this means that your organization assumes responsibility for any ill that may befall the staff who are being forced by the organization to ignore police advisories.

  174. Alex (06:01:08) :

    > This sudden warming everyone is going on about seems to be
    > only happening in the bottom +- 15km of the atmosphere…
    > available datasets higher in altitude than that show
    > temperatures currently running at less than the same time
    > last year : http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/

    That dataset is for *GLOBAL* atmospheric temperatures. The SSW is defined as a warming in the area enclosed by the Arctic Circle. What happens is that cold air form the Arctic moves south, and is replaced by warmer air from the south. This is musical chairs, with no net effect on *GLOBAL* temperatures. The polar areas get warmer, and more “temperate” areas get colder (like this winter). To get an idea of what’s happening in the Arctic, see
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/temperature/ and check out all the elevations from 70 mb to 1 mb (approx 50 km) in the first row “90N – 65N”.

  175. Roger Sowell (12:00:33) :
    Reply: Thanks Roger i was looking for good data to respond with but could not find any, as you say it does not exist and it all works out even in the long term. What did give me a warm feeling inside however was that when i googled oil reserve there was a big long list of news articles about new oil finds around the world, guess we are not running out just yet.

  176. Pragmatist (15:12:33) :

    That the AGW clan still is selling their gloom astonishes. They seem not to want the end game as much as the gloom game. Since the end game is the transition to a non-fossil fuel based economy – why care how it is achieved? There are plenty of reasons to electrify and utilize alternatives. AGW is NOT one of them. So apparently the clan’s intent is not the achievement of an end. They defend their poorly substantiated claims even in the face of overwhelming science disproving them.

    Which brings about the conclusion that their mission is not about achieving energy independence – but something else. Pillage of the western world? Cap and trade schemes benefiting the AGW elite? Expanded government and nationalization for the AGW elite commanders? It is certainly not about climate or… science.

    They may not even have a rational goal/method.

    It may simply be a nihilistic, misanthropic, drawnout screaming at a world that does not meet their expectations. A destructive urge writ large and to be played out without end. Some people find it literally painfully empty to be alive, and unable to deal with their internal pain they export it onto the rest of us as a form of self validation.

    No amount of evidence will convince such people to change. From their POV the world and the rest of us are simply “wrong” – a wrongness that must be destroyed or enslaved.

  177. davidc (16:49:04) :

    “I don’t recall the source but I liked this explanation of why it’s always true that “we are going to run out of oil in 30 years”. It’s just the investment horizon. Very few people are interested in an investment over that time frame, but quite a few more would be interested in, say, 20 years. So if it looked like supplies could runout in 20 years, more people would go looking and in the usual way things work they would all find some and supplies increase until the 30 year mark is in place again, and everyone stops looking.”

    Oil is a complex business, with so many players and points of view it is difficult to say what the primary view is. Small players who drill a few wells, hoping that one will find oil, probably have a very short-term outlook. If they can hit one well with oil, over a two or three year investment period, they are thrilled and profitable. Then they do it again.

    OTOH, the major oil companies invest huge sums and are looking for equally huge oil fields. ExxonMobil’s find off Russia’s Sakhalin Island is a good example. That field is expected to produce 7 billion barrels of oil plus 80 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The investment is around $32 billion US. At $70 per barrel of oil, that is about a 15-to-1 return on the money invested. The field should produce for approximately 30 to 35 years. The time from field discovery to first production was another several years.

    For the big boys, an investment horizon of 30 to 40 or more years is not unusual. The bigger the field, the longer the investment horizon.

    My explanation for why it is said that we are running out of oil is that those who say that do not allow for ingenuity on the part of the oil business. If we had stayed with the simple drilling and exploration techniques of, say 1920, we would have run out of oil soon thereafter.

    But oil guys love to find oil. They are some of the most inventive people on the planet. Better drill bits, better drilling rigs, slant drilling, directional drilling, improved geologic understanding, better geologic surveys, vastly improved seismic data interpretation with supercomputers, enhanced oil production methods such as water flooding and natural gas reinjection, deep-water drilling platforms, and a host of other things keep expanding the world of discoverable and economically recoverable oil.

    In U.S. patents alone, ExxonMobil has received more than 250 patents per year since 1976. That is more than one patent for every day the Patent Office is open. They are not alone, either. The other oil companies have many patents also.

    Roger E. Sowell
    Marina del Rey, California

  178. There was an interesting tidbit over at Roger Pielke Sr’s “Climate Science page. In an article discussing the differences between weather models and climate models this little gem was included in parenthesis …(but note that the Hadley Centre for instance, uses the same model for climate and weather purposes)… Would anyone in the UK care to comments on Hadley’s weather predictions from their weather/climate models?

  179. UK surface pressure
    A nice reassuring warm front over Britain, as it snows outside.
    But if you click ahead 12hrs the warm front moves backwards.
    Can someone explain why a backwards moving warm front should be different from a cold front??

  180. More garbage from the UK. Met. Office.
    I sent them an enquiry about material on their website:

    “Dear Sir/Madam I am extremely disappointed to see that you are still using the thoroughly discredited “Hockey Stick” graph (by Mann et. al.) in your “Climate Change” higher education section.

    Papers by McIntyre & McKitrick (2003, 2005) have proved conclusively that it is statistically flawed with the Principal Components Analysis used been able to produce “hockey stick” curves from autocorrelated “red noise”.
    Furthermore the entire reconstruction is dependent on the inclusion of a limited set of high altitude Bristle Cone Pine tree ring reconstruction. These, by definition, cannot act as proxies for the entire Northern hemisphere and it is debatable whether they actually temperature limited.
    The authorative Wegman enquiry recommended that these trees should not be used in climate reconstructions.
    Finally use of this reconstruction ignores a wealth of evidence (over 100 peer-reviewed papers) from around the World that demonstrate that the “Medieval Warm Period” was warmer than today.

    Please explain why you continue to use this misleading data”.

    And this is the reply:

    “Dear Mr Keiller
    Thank you for your e-mail of 10 January 2009 regarding data used to support climate change research and published on the Met Office web site.
    The issues you raise and many others have been comprehensively addressed in the scientific literature and so I do not propose to respond to all of them when the information is already available in the public domain. Instead , I would refer you to the web site of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) who have produced a detailed list of FAQs at http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/wg1-report.html and the Met Office Hadley Centre publication “Climate Change and the greenhouse effect: a briefing from the Hadley Centre” which is available to download free of charge at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/hadleycen tre/pubs/brochures/.
    Thank you once again for your interest and for taking the time to contact the Met Office.

    Yours sincerely
    Martin Kidds Customer Feedback Manager
    Met Office FitzRoy Road Exeter Devon EX1 3PB United Kingdom
    Tel: 0870 900 0100 Fax: +44 (0)1392 88 5681
    E-mail: enquiries@metoffice.gov.uk http://www.metoffice.gov.uk

    So good to see their touching faith in the IPCC and all its works!

  181. I thought I would share what I got from the Met Office in in UK:

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Martin Kidds [mailto:enquiries@metoffice.gov.uk]
    Sent: Thursday, February 5, 2009 05:26 AM
    To: ‘Mike S’
    Subject: re: Met office now the butt of giggles and grins

    REF0002479
    Dear Sir,

    Thank you for your e-mail of 3 February 2009 concerning climate change predictions by the Met Office.

    We would not accept your assertion that the Met Office is considered a “off the mark”. The Met Office is a scientific organisation which bases its decisions, conclusions and forecasts on established evidence and facts. We are proud of our world leading science, which has established our high reputation among policymakers and other scientists in this field.

    The Met Office Hadley Centre is the UK’s national centre for climate change research. Partly funded by Defra (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), the newly-established Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Ministry of Defence, the Hadley Centre provides in-depth information to the Government and advise them on climate change issues using expert scientific evidence. Our climate scientists undertake studies of the global climate using similar, though more extensive, models of the atmospheres, as are used for the prediction of weather conditions.

    There have always been seasonal variations of temperature in different regions of the world as part of natural climate variability. It is not possible to say that one or more individual such events proves or disproves climate change. What climate scientists do is try to estimate the changes in the risk of particular weather events occurring now and in the future due to climate change. However, what we can say

    Whilst these years have not quite topped the record breaking year of 1998 they are still among the warmest years experienced, and all of the top ten warmest years ever globally have occurred in the last ten years. The following news release on the Met Office web site gives more details: [Global Warming Goes On].

    In view of this, and the evidence available, the Met Office firmly believes that climate research has captured the essential aspects of what is causing our planet to warm. It is now time to move on and look at strategies for adaptation and mitigation; better defining uncertainty and improving regional detail in climate models. This is where our efforts will and should be directed.

    Thank you once again for your interest and for taking the time to contact the Met Office. Yours sincerely Martin Kidds Customer Feedback ManagerMet Office FitzRoy Road Exeter Devon EX1 3PB United KingdomTel: 0870 900 0100 Fax: +44 (0)1392 88 5681 E-mail: enquiries@metoffice.gov.uk http://www.metoffice.gov.uk

  182. Mike S,

    Thanks for following up with the Met Office. Since they consider that their inverted winter forecast was not “off the mark,” that makes it difficult to take seriously any of their other long term predictions.

    Stonewalling is not a good way to generate confidence – particularly in science.

  183. “Whilst these years have not quite topped the record breaking year of 1998 they are still among the warmest years experienced, and all of the top ten warmest years ever globally have occurred in the last ten years.”

    Warmest years ever?? That’s a pretty bold statement for the Met to make.

  184. Mike S and Steve

    I live very close to the Met office in Exeter and they got last nights forecast for this area hopelessly wrong.

    I can only assume their spokesman is today stuck in 12 inches of white global warming on one of the approach roads to the Met office.

    TonyB

  185. There is an article at the London Telegraph today regarding the UK Met Office predictions for this winter and the confess to its failure but claim a pass for the three previous years.. The following segment caught my eye, their process of predicting the weather based upon recent weather events and then adding their “global warming” factor.

    The forecast is put together using observations of sea temperatures in the preceding summer, data from the Met Office’s northern hemisphere weather modelling systems, those of the French national weather service and that of the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting in Reading. That is then assessed alongside predictions about the North Atlantic Oscillation – a measurement of pressure patterns and seasonal variations in the jet stream across the Atlantic. The Met Office then raises the temperature prediction for the winter by including the long-term warming signal caused by climate change.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/4534358/Snow-Britain-Further-snow-and-ice-forecast-for-rest-of-the-winter.html

    To add to the current situation in the UK, authorities are running low on the road salt mix, there is a major supplier in the County of Cheshire that is currently loading 25 lorries/trucks an hour and the stockpile is looking very small, today there is a routine on site health and safety check that has resulted in the extended stopage of the conveyor system bringing the salt to the surface.
    Could not make it up and people wonder why civilisations fail… :)

    Mick J.

  186. Interesting comment from Today’s Telegraph :

    Critics said the grit shortage had proved Britain was woefully unprepared for the extended cold snap.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/4534827/Heavy-snow-sees-more-than-200-rescued-after-drivers-stranded-in-Devon.html

    This was the Met Office official prediction from last autumn:
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2008/pr20080925.html

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

    Seasonal forecasts from the Met Office are used by many agencies across government, private and third sectors to help their long-term planning.

  187. Mick J,

    The Telegraph article you quoted states “It is the first time in four attempts that their long range seasonal forecast has been so inaccurate.

    This is complete rubbish, as documented here –
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/09/06/uks-met-office-blows-another-summer-forecast/

    The Met Office forecast the summer of 2007 to be hot. That summer was later described as “the summer that never happened.” Similarly, they forecast a warm summer for 2008, which turned out to be the second most miserable, rainy summer on record. Not to mention their forecast of 2007 as the hottest year ever. Their accuracy has been no better than 33%.

  188. So I see from putting together the comments above that the Met Office’s Hadley center is the organization that makes the long term forcasts, adjusts predictions higher to account for global warming and is using their very long range climate models to predict the trends for the seasons 3 months out. (At least according the Roger Pielke Sr.’s site.) It looks like we are all getting a pretty good demonstration of the capabilities of climate models and using them for public policy planning.

  189. “Met Office forecasters expect the cold theme to the weather to continue well into next week with the chance of further snow.”
    They looked out of the window at last then…

  190. Phil’s Dad (16:06:38) :

    That famous brass statue might be getting a bit nervous right now!

    WRONG! I belive it’s made of aluminium so no worries there.

  191. evanjones (17:39:13) :
    “nothing catastrophic may occur, other than our continued dependencies on finite fossil fuels, more wars in the Middle East and perhaps even World War III…all over control of quickly diminishing reservoirs of oil and natural gas.”

    I really doubt that we are running out of or even short of fossil fuels.

    You’re doubts are well placed. We know that oil fields deplete according to Hubbert’s Peak. But ‘peak oil’ is not ‘no oil’. The oil runs out the same way it ran in, roughly on a bell curve. It took 100 years to get here, it will take 100 to run back down.

    Coal is a 250 to 400 year resource (depending on what numbers you assume). Nuclear from Uranium on land is about 10,000 years. Add Thorium and it’s 30,000 years (roughly). Add in U from sea water (proven to work economically enough) and the lifetime is ‘forever’. As much as is needed to power the entire world erodes into the ocean each year, and then some. We run out of energy when we run out of planet.

    But your point was well made: What is a ‘resource’ changes with price and technology. Canadian tar sands were not a ‘resource’ 50 years ago, now they are. U.S. oil shale holds a Trillion+ bbl of oil, but is not counted as a resource when prices are below about $100/bbl. So much natural gas has been found in N. America that the price has been pushed down from $15 to less than $5 (during a very cold winter when demand is up!)

    Energy is a ‘red herring’.

    To posit wars or even world wars over dwindling resources is contrary to all postmodern (and even modern) experience.

    As long as trade exists, there is no need for ‘resource wars’. As technologies have improved, the ‘utility’ of a resource war has plunged.

    Why go to war for oil when synthetic fuels can be made from coal or garbage at about $3/U.S.gallon? (NOT a hypothetical, real companies are doing this today.) Why fight for Uranium when it is available from sea water for about $150/lb (cheap, just not as cheap as some land based mines). Why fight over copper when you can buy it for a couple of $$/lb ?

    Yet people like to be scared and are fond of ‘running out’ fantasies.

    You can tell them all day that nuclear power and limestone mean no limit to building materials, ever. That desalinization means no shortage of fresh water, ever. That nitrogen fertilizers are made from air and that Aluminium is one of the most common elements in the earth’s crust (or even that ‘banded iron’ deposits blanket the world). Add the fact that plastics can be made from plants (corn, sugarcane, whatever) and even from garbage (oil is not needed for ‘petrochemicals’ nor plastics; it’s just a cheap source) and glass is sand, melted; and you get a dull stare in return.

    Then point out that these resources let you make greenhouses and aquaculture facilities and they will say it’s not practical. (It is being done on several islands… Even Saudi Arabia has desalinizers making fresh water for crops. Heck, visit Disney World, go to The Land exhibit. The produce grown there is served in the hotels.) It is not only practical, it is being done commercially in many countries today. It is just so ordinary that it is not news.

    So why are so many folks still enamored of Malthus and the 4 horseman? I can only assume it is some fundamental psychological trait (defect?) in some large percentage of the human race. A holdover from 10,000 years ago when it led people to pack away food for winter and fight over dirt, because then there was no technological revolution to light a better way.

    There is no shortage of energy, and never will be.
    There is no shortage of ‘stuff’, and never will be.
    (All the mined stuff is still on the planet…)
    There is no shortage of food, and never needs to be.
    There is no shortage of fresh clean water, and never needs to be.

    There is a shortage of the will and vision to use known proven technologies to fix any problems with access to these things; but those are political problems, not technical and not physical.

    The only problems are with the politicians.

  192. Pat (17:56:04) : Forgive my spelling. There is an interface problem between the keyaboard and chair.

    In computer support departments this is called a “Pibkac Error” for Problem Is Between Keyboard And Chair” ;-)

  193. OT: Roger Pielke Sr has an interesting post right now. A follow up on his Litmus Test for Global Warming.

  194. Roger Sowell (18:28:14) : Our power generation primarily will be by natural gas, and coal with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) for a few years, IMHO. Then the CCS requirement will likely disappear when the cooling occurs

    Primarily, yes. We have lots of each already built, they are very economical and very dispatchable. Those facilities will be with us for decades to come.

    But there will be an ever growing component of wind, solar, and wave / tide. There are technologies either shipping or in final stages prior to shipping in all those areas that are surprisingly economical.

    Wind is nearing competitive with coal and natural gas (just not as ‘dispatchable’) in the American west ‘wind corridor’ north of Texas, while solar is highly competitive for summer peak demand (which is when places like California need peak power supplements!) Solar thermal isn’t talked about much but is highly competitive for summer peak A/C demand. A recent announcement projected a 5 cents / kWhr rate from a thin film solar panel maker. Watch this space…

    Wave power is much more reliable and dispatchable and is entering production now (US Navy has a field going in in Hawaii). There are a couple of companies putting in their first production fields of these devices in Europe. These would be ideal for England. IIRC a 100 x 100 km field of these off shore would power all of England. (One presume proportional areas for other states in the U.K.)

    THE big problem, though, is not with ‘power’ in general (not electric power) but with ‘motor fuels’. 95% or so of the vehicle fleet runs on petroleum fuels. Electrons don’t help. Converting the fleet to non-petroleum is a 15 to 20 year problem. Electric cars are ‘copper limited’ so unless you can convince Chile or Indonesia to strip mine at a prodigious rate, the production of new cars will take decades. So you need to create the fuels.

    The best / cheapest / cleanest / fastest solution is coal to liquids and gas to liquids. Yes, you can make liquid fuels from trash, plants, any carbon source, but some fuels are cheaper than others and coal is very cheap. This is the place where the AGW agenda hobbles things. Instead of $2/gallon coal derived fuels, you get $5 or more fuels… or a mandate to go buy a new car…

    Then there is the dark horse candidate of algae. At least 2 companies in this space are entering production. We will see if their projections hold up in real life! While most biomass fuels take very significant areas (cellulosic would take about a 100 x 1000 mile area minimum for the U.S.A.!) if done with algae, that drops to about 100 x 100 miles. IFF yields can be held high as in a laboratory setting…

    The most dramatic ‘take away’ from this, though, is that we have a real embarrassment of riches in both electric power sources and motor fuels. There are at least as many more that I’ve not listed here. Many of the described sources (algae, solar thermal, solar electric, coal, nuclear, waves) could power the whole place from a relatively small area. There really is no shortage of power available to us, should we chose to use it.

  195. Pat (20:06:01) :
    Roger, I believe I share your view on peak oil too. My post earlier relates to the inefficient extraction of oil at some sites, leaving much of it behind, as you suggest.

    It makes me chuckle when someone says big oil is blocking progress on carbon capture & sequestration. As of right now they are in need of large amounts of liquid CO2 to extract that very oil in those old fields… The quantity needed is prohibitive, unless of course “cap and trade” made it cheaper …

    I don’t believe current nuclear technology is not the way forward either, I understand there isn’t enough of the fuel if the world switched.

    This is an artifact of the definition of a ‘resource’. U was about $40/lb not too long ago. At that price most mines are not economical, so most of the U is ‘not a resource’. At about $150 / lb the quantity of U available is functionally unlimited (sea water extraction is economical). A chunk of U about the size of a small Tootsie Roll has the same energy as a barrel of oil, so clearly $150/lb is very competitive with oil…

    The problems with nuclear are mostly: 1) dealing with spent fuel and other contaminated junk. 2) Making passively safe designs like pebble bed that can’t “go Chernoble” on you…

    You could add a 3) dealing with rampant costs, but that doesn’t hold for all countries…

    Adam Sullivan (21:26:52) : Peak Oil was the fashionable worry when Oil was in a bull market and the need existed to bring more speculators in to push prices higher. So we got up to about $150/bl at which point several things happened –

    Basically, demand dropped a little bit and supply went up a little bit. For a commodity that is very price in-elastic (ie. you gotta buy food and price won’t stop you, unlike buying a new sport coat) a small change in the balance causes ‘glut’ instead of ‘shortage’ and the price collapses.

    And peak oil is much more than a fashion. It is a very real physical statement of fact. But it took us about 100 years to reach peak, so the top of this production curve is very broad and flat. We will be on it for about a decade before production drops off enough to prove it.

    #3 is the key thing […] That will give the oil sheiks and speculators the opportunity to push the price to a higher threshold once the market recovers (it will and they will).

    Your speculation on speculators is a bit ill formed. It is the price-inelastic nature of oil that causes the price swings, in both directions. Oil futures are a physical delivery market. If you don’t clear your trade (sell the contract to someone who wants the oil), you must take delivery of the oil and do something with it. At the end of the day (or month) a speculator can only shift the price if they have large tanks to store oil… millions of barrels worth… (Everyone blamed speculators for the rise, but somehow not for the collapse of prices when several oil trading houses when out of business…) Far larger was the impact of China adding massive demand, then cutting off buying during the Olympics.

    Oil has always been thus. See the history of the Texas Railroad Commission. It pre-dates OPEC and is the model…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Railroad_Commission

    IOW, the economic scare behind Peak Oil pales in terms of total economic impact when compared to Peak Regulation.

    Absolutely. Peak Oil is a decade long slow adjustment process to start shifting to known, proven, economical alternatives, followed by a 100 year ‘build out’. Regulation is a 10 minute panic fire drill with capricious demands and no clear solutions…

  196. Flanagan (00:25:50) :
    Adam: I think your analysis lacks the fact that since 2004, oil consumption largely exceeds its production.

    By definition, oil demand equals production (modulo the modest quantity that can go into oil storage, substantially ignorable…)

    There has been no significant excess of consumption over production (and indeed can not be: there is not that much storage to have provided the difference!) These are physical quantities.

    I think what you meant to say was that demand exceeded supply (even if some of that demand was unrequited …)

  197. Steven Goddard (09:54:51) :
    Mick J,
    The Telegraph article you quoted states “It is the first time in four attempts that their long range seasonal forecast has been so inaccurate.
    This is complete rubbish, as documented here –

    Steve, I think you misunderstood! They are bragging that after four progressive attempts they have finally reached this pinnacle of inaccuracy!

  198. je recheche un cd que jai acheté de time life music de 1950 artistes varié et il y a un chanteur sur ce cd qui chante avec un groupe son nom est shagrinlas serait il posible de me fournir un indice a ce sujet merci

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