Has the Met Office committed fraud?

Guest post by Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

The truth is out. No amount of hand-wringing or numerical prestidigitation on the part of the usual suspects can any longer conceal from the world the fact that global warming has been statistically indistinguishable from zero for at least 18 years. The wretched models did not predict that.

When I told the December 2012 UN climate summit in Doha that there had been no warming for at least 16 years, the furious delegates howled me down.

The UN later edited the videotape to remove the howling. The delegates were furious not because I was speaking out of turn (they did not know that at the time) but because the truth was inconvenient.

The Guardian carried a sneer-story about my intervention. When a reader sent in a politely-worded comment to the effect that, objectively speaking, it was true that over the relevant period the least-squares linear-regression trend on the Hadley/CRU global surface temperature data was as near flat as makes no statistical difference, within two minutes The Guardian deleted the comment from its misleadingly-titled “Comment Is Free” website.

The determined reader resubmitted the comment. This time it was gone in 45 seconds, and – what is more – the stub indicating that he had commented disappeared as well. Just 28 years after George Orwell’s 1984, the hard Left are still dumping the inconvenient truth down the memory-hole.

The Met Office, as WattsUpWithThat revealed recently, has noticeably downshifted its lurid warming prediction for the rest of this decade.

When it predicted a “barbecue summer” (wrong: that summer was exceptionally cold and wet), and then a record warm winter (wrong: that was the second-coldest December in central England since records began in 1659); and then, this spring, a record dry summer for the UK (wrong again: 2012 proved to be the second-wettest on record: not for nothing is it now known as the “Wet Office”), it trumpeted its predictions of impending global-warming-driven climate disaster from the rooftops.

And the scientifically-illiterate politicians threw money at it.

If the Met Office’s new prediction is right, by 2017 the global warming rate will have been statistically indistinguishable from zero for two full decades.

So, did the bureaucrats call a giant press conference to announce the good news? Er, no. They put up their new prediction on an obscure corner of their website, on Christmas Day, and hoped that everyone would be too full of Christmas cheer to notice.

That raises – again – a question that Britain can no longer afford to ignore. Has the Wet Office committed serious fraud against taxpayers?

Let us examine just one disfiguring episode. When David Rose of the Mail on Sunday wrote two pieces last year, several months apart, saying there had been no global warming for 15 years, the Met Office responded to each article with Met Office in the Media blog postings that, between them, made the following assertions:

1. “… [F]or Mr. Rose to suggest that the latest global temperatures available show no warming in the last 15 years is entirely misleading.”

2. “What is absolutely clear is that we have continued to see a trend of warming …”.

3. “The linear trend from August 1997 (in the middle of an exceptionally strong El Niño) to August 2012 (coming at the tail end of a double-dip La Niña) is about 0.03 C°/decade …”.

4. “Each of the top ten warmest years have occurred in the last decade.”

5. “The models exhibit large variations in the rate of warming … so … such a period [15 years without warming] is not unexpected. It is not uncommon in the simulations for these periods to last up to 15 years, but longer periods are unlikely.”

Each of the assertions enumerated above was calculated to deceive. Each assertion is a lie. It is a lie told for financial advantage. M’lud, let me take each assertion in turn and briefly outline the evidence.

1. The assertion that Mr Rose was “entirely misleading” to say there had been no global warming for 15 years is not just entirely misleading: it is entirely false. The least-squares linear-regression trend on the global temperature data is statistically indistinguishable from zero for 18 years (HadCRUt4), or 19 years (HadCRUt3), or even 23 years (RSS).

2. What is absolutely clear is that the assertion that “it is absolutely clear that we have continued to see a trend of warming” is absolutely, clearly false. The assertion is timescale-dependent. The Met Office justified it by noting that each of the last n decades was warmer than the decade that preceded it. A simple heuristic will demonstrate the dishonesty of this argument. Take a two-decade period. In each of years 1-2, the world warms by 0.05 Cº. In each of years 3-20, the world does not warm at all. Sure, the second decade will be warmer than the first. But global warming will still have stopped for 18 years. By making comparisons on timescales longer than the 18 years without warming, what we are seeing is long-past warming, not a continuing “trend of warming”.

3. In August 1997 global temperatures were not “in the middle of an exceptionally strong El Niño”: they were in transition, about halfway between La Niña (cooler than normal) and El Niño (warmer than normal) conditions. Likewise, temperatures in August 2012 were not “at the tail-end of a double-dip La Niña”: they were plainly again in transition between the La Niña of 2011/12 and the El Niño due in a year or two.

4. The Met Office’s assertion that each of the past ten years has been in the top ten is dataset-dependent. On most datasets, 1998 was the warmest year on the global instrumental record (which only began 160-odd years ago). Therefore, on these datasets, it cannot have been possible for each of the last ten years to be among the warmest on record.

5. Finally, the Met Office shoots itself in the foot by implicitly admitting that there has been a 15-year period without warming, saying that such a period is “not unexpected”. Yet that period was not “expected” by any of the dozens of lavishly-funded computer models that have been enriching their operators – including the Met Office, whose new computer cost gazillions and has the carbon footprint of a small town every time it is switched on. The NOAA’s State of the Climate report in 2008 said this: “Near-zero and even negative trends are common for intervals of a decade or less in the simulations, due to the model’s internal climate variability. The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 years or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.”

In short, the Met Office lied repeatedly to do down a journalist who had uttered the inconvenient truth that there had been no global warming for at least 15 years.

The Fraud Act 2000 defines the serious imprisonable offence of fraud as dishonestly making an express or implied representation that the offender knows is or may be untrue or misleading, intending to gain money or other property (here, grant funding) or to cause loss or risk of loss to another ($30 billion a year of unnecessary “green” taxes, fees and charges to the British public).

So I reported the Met Office to the Serious Fraud Office, which has a specific remit to deal with frauds that involve large sums (here, tens of billions) and organized crime (here, that appreciable fraction of the academic and scientific community that has been telling similar porkies.

Of course, there is one law for us (do the crime, do the time) and quite another for Them (do the crime, make a mint, have a Nobel Peace Prize). The Serious Fraud Office is not interested in investigating Serious Fraud – not if it might involve a publicly-funded body making up stuff to please the corrupt politicians who pay not only its own salaries but also those of the Serious Fraud Office.

The Met Office’s fraud will not be investigated. “Why not try your local police?” said the Serious Fraud Office.

So here is my question. In the specific instance I have sketched out above, where a journalist was publicly named and wrongly shamed by a powerful taxpayer-funded official body telling lies, has that body committed a serious fraud that forms part of a pattern of connected frauds right across the governing class worldwide?

Or am I going too far in calling a fraud a fraud?

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Kurt in Switzerland

Well done, milord.
Related discussion over at Andy Revkin’s Dot Earth:
http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/09/shift-in-british-climate-analysis-blunts-governments-short-term-warming-forecast/
Kurt in Switzerland

Mark Nutley

Chris, two things, we know this get the MSM to print it. Second, such big words, I mean really? Focus on the general public, you know the ones, they can just about spell dole

Auto

Another good one by our peerless peer!
Will the Houses of Parliament pick up on this: –
“Of course, there is one law for us (do the crime, do the time) and quite another for Them (do the crime, make a mint, have a Nobel Peace Prize). The Serious Fraud Office is not interested in investigating Serious Fraud – not if it might involve a publicly-funded body making up stuff to please the corrupt politicians who pay not only its own salaries but also those of the Serious Fraud Office.”
They make the law – equal for all [Magna Carta 1215 [AD not pm] and all that].

Joe Public

And will (past & present) MPs admit to being so gullible as to be taken-in by an organisation which is plainly not-fit-for-purpose?

The cagw crowd and the met are taking a huge gamble that temperatures finally start going up soon. By not being [straight] forward and admitting problems they are setting themselves up for more and more criticism, bigger and bigger charges of fraud as the trend continues or temperatures turn down. They’ve now realized that lowering their predictions and hoping that real temperatures exceed them might give them some relief from the bashing but what if temperatures don’t cooperate and they continue to be above the trend? The clamor will simply grow and they will be more guilty. That may not seem like satisfaction to us that know already that they have lied but I believe that we must continue to push for full transparency and not let them get away with the slightest subterfuge and let them escape eventual justice for academic dishonesty, censure, laughingstock.

Billy Liar

We know that politicians do not lie.
It would appear that sub-contracting the lie is equally blameless.
/sarc

It is more than fraud, it is theft. How many hundreds of billions of the people’s money have been picked from their pockets in countries around the world to “fight global warming”? This money simply lands in the pockets of political supporters. Every penny spent to “fight global warming” lands in someone’s pocket. This is one of the largest robberies in the history of the human race (The US Obama administration holding the record for the largest robbery of all time with “stimulus”, “green energy”, and automotive “bailout” cash being dumped into the pockets of political supporters).
I should like to see many of these politicians and members of NGOs who consult with these politicians landed in prison.

Mark Bofill

Fraud? Absolutely. Trouble is, we (well, at least I) have become desensitized. Heck, I ~expect~ government run taxpayer funded agencies to lie to me. Don’t rightly know how I’d react if they spoke the simple truth. My head might explode…

No you are not! A fraud is a fraud, no matter who is behind the wheel. I really think that a worldwide NGO could be formed, based on the web, financed by individuals all over the world, chaired by trustworthy people like you, Donna, JoeNova just to name a few. And with a scientific body that could match IPCC.
We have an enormous army but it is scattered.
Just thinking out loud after a nice shoot of Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Richard Evans

Not even the BBC use the Met Office predictions any more. That says all we need to know.

Colin Gartner

If it looks like a duck………

michael hart

If they had, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Can the journalist perhaps ask for compensation for damage to reputation?

What has not been generally noted is that the original forecast was based on Smith et al, Science, August 2007. Half of this report goes into great detail as to why hindcasting data produces a model that can be used for forecasting. This method is at the very heart of the debate as to whether climate models have been validated.
Now the Mert. Office has specificly stated that the forecast by Smith et al is wrong. This means that the model they used was never validated by the hindcasting methodology. I can see absolutley no reason whatsoever to believe that their new model has been validated either, so that there is no reason to suppose that the new forecast is any better that the old one. And there is every indication that climate models have never been validated at all.

While we are speaking of frauds… CFC harming the ozone layer has now been officially debunked. The cause… wait for it, wait for it… IODINE FROM THE OCEANS.
New study reveals gas that triggers ozone destruction
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/uoy-nsr_1011113.php
Scientists at the Universities of York and Leeds have made a significant discovery about the cause of the destruction of ozone over oceans.
They have established that the majority of ozone-depleting iodine oxide observed over the remote ocean comes from a previously unknown marine source. The research team found that the principal source of iodine oxide can be explained by emissions of hypoiodous acid (HOI) – a gas not yet considered as being released from the ocean – along with a contribution from molecular iodine (I2).
Since the 1970s when methyl iodide (CH3I) was discovered as ubiquitous in the ocean, the presence of iodine in the atmosphere has been understood to arise mainly from emissions of organic compounds from phytoplankton — microscopic marine plants.
This new research, which is published in Nature Geoscience, builds on an earlier study which showed that reactive iodine, along with bromine, in the atmosphere is responsible for the destruction of vast amounts of ozone – around 50 per cent more than predicted by the world’s most advanced climate models – in the lower atmosphere over the tropical Atlantic Ocean.

Imagine that, the world’s most advanced climate models failed to accurately predict the effects of iodine on the ozone layer. Would that be the same climate models that fail to accurately predict the effects of water vapor and clouds? So can we have our R-22 back and stop taxing it at greater and greater levels?

George Tetley

Not being informed on British law but I would think that a good lawyer would have grounds to sue for a New York telephone number amount if a class action was filed, ( say 1,000 wattsupwiththat readers as a starter ) as nearly everyone on the globe has been affected it could bankrupt the British government, if nothing else the British Sunday press would have fun

Patrick B

Thank you for your efforts – but please post links for all assertions. One of the joys of the internet is the ability to immediately point to proof of an assertion as opposed to tracking down a footnoted article.

Willis Eschenbach

Mark Nutley says:
January 14, 2013 at 12:10 pm

… Second, such big words, I mean really? Focus on the general public, you know the ones, they can just about spell dole

You mean the general public, the good folk that mean well but somehow can’t remember to put a period at the end of a sentence?
Oh, no, wait, that was you …
In fact, the Gunning Fog Index for Christopher’s post above is 11.9, meaning it is aimed at about the level of a high school senior … however, you seem to think it is overly full of “big words”.
So let me review the bidding. You can’t remember to put a period at the end of a sentence, and you think prose written at the level of a high school senior contains too many “big words” …
Anything else you want to reveal about yourself before we ignore you and move on?
Christopher Monckton is one of the best wordsmiths on the current scene. I would recommend to him that he not change a single thing about how he writes. It is funny, literary, and full of interesting info. I’m just glad he’s on my side …
w.

At our current rate, the earth will be a cinder in 100 years with an average temperature of 15 degrees Celsius.

George Tetley

as a starter could not a writ be put on that trillion GB computer ?

Dave

“prestidigitation”… I had to look that one up.
But as to the question… fraud indeed!

Maybe what it needs is a turn around in government and the new (sic?) government to then call for a royal commission into the fraud, or some examination. It’s disgusting that “Serious Fraud” does not cover serious fraud. Who’s in charge there? Would multiple complaints to the top kick their a$$es into gear??? Just askin’.

dmacleo

Met Office lied repeatedly to do down a journalist
************************************************
is “to do down” an idiom I have not heard of?
can you clarify that for me please?
thanks.
as far as the rest of it, I love reading your stuff 🙂
It would sound to me like there is a real case of fraud but thats with NO working knowledge of the law over there.

Tez

Christopher Monckton is one of the best wordsmiths on the current scene. I would recommend to him that he not change a single thing about how he writes. It is funny, literary, and full of interesting info. I’m just glad he’s on my side …
w.
Well said Willis. I am sure the Met Office would love to employ someone with the Lords writing skills in their turd polishing department.

theduke

Mark Nutley @ 12:10: “Big words?” What? “Prestidigitation?” “Heuristic?”
Cmon. If the half-wits who believe in global warming need to go to a dictionary once in a while, which is probably unlikely in this case since they will dismiss this report before even reading it, what’s the problem?
Most excellent piece, Lord Monckton.

JJ

4. The Met Office’s assertion that each of the past ten years has been in the top ten is …
An intentional conflation of “warm” with “warming”. If the temps dont change at all for the next 90 years, they will be able to say that each of the last 100 years has been in the top 100.
They are using a metric indicative of “no change” to claim that it is warming.
That’s yer fraud, right there.

grumpyoldmanuk

George Tetley says:
January 14, 2013 at 12:37
The British government is already bankrupt. Tony Blair did to us from 1997 what POTUS is going to do for you until 2016.

S. Meyer

@willis
“Christopher Monckton is one of the best wordsmiths on the current scene. I would recommend to him that he not change a single thing about how he writes. It is funny, literary, and full of interesting info. I’m just glad he’s on my side …”.
Agree!
Consider a segment of a sinusoid curve. The segment starts at the bottom part of the curve and stops just slightly after the top. I think this describes current global temperatures over time (years) quite well. I find it astounding in how many misleading ways one can describe this same curve: “Temperatures have been rising relentlessly in the past 30 years”, “current temperatures are the highest they have ever been”, “the warming is linear”, “the rate of warming has increased”… Is it really this hard to see a sinusoid? 

joeldshore

Monckton of Brenchley says:

The least-squares linear-regression trend on the global temperature data is statistically indistinguishable from zero for 18 years (HadCRUt4), or 19 years (HadCRUt3), or even 23 years (RSS).

The trends are also statistically-indistinguishable from the long-term trends (i.e., the trends calculated from ~1975 onwards, whether you stop at, say, 1997 or include all the data from 1975 onwards). This is just a statement that trends over such time periods still have quite a large uncertainty in them.
This graph http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1975/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1975/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1975/to:1997.5/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1975/to:1997.5/trend makes it clear that the long term trend in HadCRUt4 since 1975 is essentially no different than the long term trend that one would have calculated 18 years ago (i.e., in 1997): As you can see, the slope of the linear trend from 1975 to 1997 is virtually identical to the trend from 1975 to the present. (In the case shown, where one stops in mid 1997, the trend using all the data is actually slightly steeper, although that detail is dependent on exactly when one chooses to stop in 1997.)

The NOAA’s State of the Climate report in 2008 said this: “Near-zero and even negative trends are common for intervals of a decade or less in the simulations, due to the model’s internal climate variability. The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 years or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.”

Here is that report so that readers can see the full context: http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/bams-sotc/climate-assessment-2008-lo-rez.pdf The relevant page is p. S23. Note in the context of the discussion, the authors are talking about looking at trends after removing ENSO as described in the 2008 paper by Thompson.
Furthermore, the statement that “simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 years or more” means exactly that: The simulations show that the 95% confidence cone for the climate model simulations does not include a trend of zero. However, the trend over the time periods that you note has not been zero; It is true that it is not statistically-significant from zero at the 95% confidence level, but that just means that its 95% confidence cone includes zero. It does not mean the trend is zero. People who understand statistics will understand that the statement that the 95% confidence cone includes the possibility of zero trend is very different than saying that the measured trend is actually zero.
So, for both of these reasons, your statement about what the NOAA report says is wrong.

RobW

So warm=cold=no change. Can I get a grant now?

Dan

What about a straight out libel case?

Jim G

“The Guardian carried a sneer-story about my intervention. When a reader sent in a politely-worded comment to the effect that, objectively speaking, it was true that over the relevant period the least-squares linear-regression trend on the Hadley/CRU global surface temperature data was as near flat as makes no statistical difference, within two minutes The Guardian deleted the comment from its misleadingly-titled “Comment Is Free” website. ”
Though i am not so well versed in what goes on in the media in GB, here in the US the greatest threat to freedom, science, politics or truth is the domination of the media, printed and electronic, by the left. So the beat goes on.

A good article except for the last bit. I think accusing the Met Office of fraud is over the top, and it doesn’t help your case. Fraud means an intention to deceive. It differs from just being mistaken. I agree that the Met Office is mistaken, but clearly they believe their own story. So it isn’t fraud–intent is not there.
If I promise you a million dollars if you send me your bank account by return post, I’m likely committing fraud. But if I have an idea for a business scheme that will net us both money, and I really think the plan will work–all I need is your bank account to make it happen–then I’m not committing fraud.

Kurt in Switzerland

What we have here is a case of “Serious Spin Infraction” — and of course it was all done with the most noble of intentions.
After all, the Met Office denizens are quite confident that the “earth’s energy balance continues to be thrown further and further out of dynamic equilibrium by that one species so intent on destroying Gaia” — so even if said excess energy doesn’t manifest itself NOW as increased global mean atmospheric surface temperatures, it most certainly WILL eventually.
So, armed with the knowledge (of said impending warming), the Met Office has acted in the best interests of the lesser (unenlightened) representatives of that cancerous species, homo sapiens (2nd ref. to knowledge optional here).
Rather than having Lord Monckton sue for the Wet Office for Serious Fraud, one could have much more fun with “Serious Spinning” even setting up a crowdsourced “Serious Spin Office” (opening a Pandora’s Box of Parody) — I can even see a Josh cartoon and a Delingpole article on the near horizon…
Kurt in Switzerland

I wouldn’t be happy seeing this go to court. The whole alarmist warming thing is waning anyway and the damage done to others who might speak their minds on other important topics for fear of being accused of fraud and dragged to court wouldn’t be worth it to me.
Call them on their false statements loud and clear and long, but don’t take them to court.

Mycroft

Lord M. I hope you are bending the suitable ears with your connections,the BBc and the Government should be making statements..yes i know the BBC will not shift ..yet, but the government should be questioning some of its energy policy advisors and questions asked about the METO record and its output and cost to the taxpayer.Good piece as ever

DaveG

What do you expect of the Met Office the so called worlds leading Climate group – – more of the same. They are the same group involved with the University of East Anglia Climategate crowd!!!!
I wonder how the BBC green pension investment fund are doing thanks in large part to the influence and predictions of the Met Office – Last time I checked it 2.5 Billion pounds in the hole — LOL Suckers!

Jimbo

I gave up on commenting on the Guardian after I had been banned at least 8 times. All I did was point them to peer reviewed contrary papers OR poured scorn (politely) using heavy sarcasm and wit. 😉

Doug Huffman

“The Guardian deleted the comment from its misleadingly-titled “Comment Is Free” website.(Posted on January 14, 2013 by Anthony Watts,Guest post by Christopher Monckton of Brenchley)”
When something online is free, you’re not the customer, you’re the product.“(Jonathan Zittrain http://futureoftheinternet.org/meme-patrol-when-something-online-is-free-youre-not-the-customer-youre-the-product)

davidmhoffer

The Met Office, as WattsUpWithThat revealed recently, has noticeably downshifted its lurid warming prediction for the rest of this decade.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Given their track record of recent times, I am now concerned that they have it wrong yet again and we’re in for another bought of warming.

Nigel S

Dave says: January 14, 2013 at 12:42 pm “prestidigitation”…
Yes, hence prestigious which has completely changed its meaning from negative to positive. Quite appropriate for this discussion. Origin: mid 16th century (in the sense ‘practising conjuring tricks’): from late Latin praestigiosus, from praestigiae ‘conjuring tricks’. The current sense dates from the early 20th century
To Lord Monckton, what about ‘Misconduct in Public Office’? The penalties are quite severe I think up to life imprisonment. ‘A public office holder is an officer who discharges any duty in the discharge of which the public are interested, more clearly so if he is paid out of a fund provided by the public.’

Joe Grappa

[snip. Take your ad-hominem comments elsewhere. They are not welcome here. — mod.]

Now that the news is out the hard left are absolutely foaming at the mouth – see Delingpole’s blogs….
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/author/jamesdelingpole/
I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to Lord Monckton and those like him who stand up to the eco-fascism that has overtaken the western world and relegated science to a voodoo activity.

Andrew

The geyser wot rote this uses his tongue purdier than a $20 whorean full stops an pumtuation are, like, a free choice innit
[Gunning Fog Index “UNDEFINED”]
Seriously, this is a magnificent blog submission. Are there any UK lawyers or ‘silk’ on here? I was wondering if a civil damages claim might fly, with a suitable fighting fund, a modest contribution to which I would make.
[Gunning Fog Index 11.35]

BLACK PEARL

As the Fraud Office is not interested…. how about the Consumer Dept
They took the Banks to court for miss-selling Payment Protection Insurance
So get them to pursue miss selling / implimentation of CO2 based taxation VED Road tax would be a good test case.

David L

Unfortunately it’s not only fraud, but it’s a huge “racket” that makes the classic organized crime mobs (e.g. Al Capone) look like rank amateurs.

spen

Let’s not forget the Met Office chief scientist Slingo who claimed that the ‘record 2012’ rain fall in England was due to increased ocean temperatures and melting Arctic ice but did not explain why the rain fall in adjacent Scotland was well below average.
(Last week the Met Office produced the 2012 rain fall statistics which show that rain fall in 2000 was slightly higher than the much hyped pre=Christmas MET report that 2012 rain fall was the highest for a hundred years!)

One thing I forgot to mention, in England we refer to the Guardian’s comments section as ‘Komment Macht Frei’

Silver Ralph

.
Sir. Could you not take the case to the House of Lords? Surely, the House of Lords has seniority over and above the Serious Fraud Office.
.

Phil Ford

Thank you once again, Christopher, for your informative and interesting observations on the recent shenanigans of the UK Met Office. They really are becoming a bit of a national embarrassment – but I fear they are now so far down the rabbit hole (you know, the one with the big, comical ‘CAGW Funding Here’ signpost above it) that what little still remains of their once excellent reputation for good, honest science is now on life support, gasping for credibility.
Anyway, keep it up (they don’t like it up ’em) and I look forward to your next YouTube video with enthusiasm.