English Winters Back To Normal–Julia Blames Global Warming!

By Paul Homewood

Julia Slingo – head of the Met Office.

According to the Sun,

Britain’s winters are getting colder because of melting Arctic ice, the Government’s forecaster said yesterday.

Met Office chief scientist Julia Slingo said climate change was “loading the dice” towards freezing, drier weather — and called publicly for the first time for an urgent investigation.

Prof Slingo said: “If you look at the way our weather patterns have behaved over the past four or five years, we’re beginning to think that there is something happening.

“Our climate is being disrupted by the warming of the Arctic that we have observed very dramatically since 2007.

“We should pull together the best scientists to see how we can detect the influence of the Arctic on the jet stream, and on weather around the world.”

So just how cold have Britain’s winters become? Well, according to the Central England Temperature series, not very! The winter just gone ranks an unremarkable 187th coldest in the 354 years since the index started in 1660. Figure 1 shows just how unremarkable it has been. The 2012/13 winter finished at 3.83C, a fraction above the mean over the whole record of 3.72C.

image

Figure 1

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/

Slingo also talks about the 5 year trend, so let’s look at that as well.

image

Figure 2

There has certainly been a sharp drop away from the abnormally mild winters between 1998 and 2008, but this only takes us back to the sort of winters that were prevalent during most of the last century, and still much warmer than the 19thC. The current 5-year average is 3.6C, exactly the same as the average temperature from 1980-89. And from 1960-69, the average was, you’ve guessed it, also exactly 3.6C.

Previous Predictions For Milder Winters

So why is Slingo so concerned? To understand this, we need to look back at all of the predictions, made in recent years by the Met Office and others, of warmer, wetter winters.

These, of course, were based on the handful of milder winters around the turn of the century. There are too many to list, but here’s a few examples:-

1) In 2006, Met Office meteorologist Wayne Elliott told the BBC

It is consistent with the climate change message. It is exactly what we expect winters to be like – warmer and wetter”

2) In 2011, Slingo signed off the Met’s “Climate: observations, projections and impacts” Report that had this to say about the extreme cold in December 2010

It is considerably warmer than the winter of 1962/63, which is the coldest since 1900 in the CRUTEM3 dataset. In the absence of human influences, the season lies near the central sector of the temperature distribution and would therefore be an average season.

3) Myles Allen told the Telegraph in 2009

Even though this is quite a cold winter by recent standards it is still perfectly consistent with predictions for global warming. If it wasn’t for global warming this cold snap would happen much more regularly. What is interesting is that we are now surprised by this kind of weather. I doubt we would have been in the 1950s because it was much more common. “

4) DEFRA’s Climate Change Risk Assessment Report, issued last year, states

In the UK, we currently expect a shift towards generally wetter winters…..and an increase in winter rainfall volumes of between 3% and 70%.

5) In December 2010, Slingo , talking about the cold weather, told the Independent,

 “Global warming is continuing and we know that from the global trends. There will, of course, be large local and regional variations from year to year. So this event that we’re currently experiencing is not unprecedented.”, adding “A final complication is that a regular pattern of natural climate change over the North Atlantic, called the multi-decadal oscillation, may be about to enter a cooler phase, just as it did in the 1960s, when Britain also experienced colder-than-normal winters.”

6) And the Met’s own private briefing for the Environment Agency last summer admitted

If low levels of Arctic sea ice were found to be affecting the track of the jet stream, for example, this could be seen as linked to the warming of our climate – but this is currently an unknown.

7) And in 2010, Slingo presented a “Briefing on the likelihood of severe winter weather over the next 20-30 years “to Sir John Beddington, which concluded

a) Prolonged snowfall and low temperatures, comparable with conditions seen during November and December 2010 are within the range of natural climate variability observed over the past 50 years.

b) The latest available regional climate projections for the UK (UKCP09) indicate a reducing likelihood of severe winters in future, due to the long-term warming climate. Natural climate variability implies that severe events remain possible but with reduced likelihood.

And we won’t even have to mention David Viner’s famous “Snow is a thing of the past”.

Backtracking

It is understandably embarrassing for the Met Office to see so many of their predictions blowing up in their faces. But, instead of simply accepting that they were wrong in misinterpreting a few years of data in the way they did, they are desperately searching for a way to pin the blame for a return to normal winters on global warming.

It is hard to see just how much credibility they have left when it comes to predicting climate, or even understanding past climate. As their Chief Scientist, Julia Slingo must surely accept overall responsibility for this sorry state of affairs.

According to the Met Office Accounts for 2011/12, Slingo was paid a salary of £135000 – £140000, with an additional bonus of £25000 – £30000. This is a cost that can no longer be justified.

She should go now.

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Joseph

Seriously how often must a public sector employee fail in their job before being penalised?, as for the bonus this is a terrible indictment on the outrageous misuse of taxpayer money so beloved by the UK state.

So aks them what caused the cold winters in the 60s and 80s???
Here: winter temperatures in Norway
http://eklima.met.no/metno/trend/TAMA_G0_24_1000_NO.jpg

William Abbott

Facts are stubborn things. The facts are the models failed to predict the cooling. The facts are there is no evidence for CAGW. So go ahead and continue to assign causality to spurious correlations (warmer arctic?/colder European winters) sea ice and a warmer arctic aren’t the same thing. Met has no credibility with thinking people; .

Dan

09-10 sunspot funk. my gosh, something’s happening! DUHHHHHHHHHHHH really???

As for how cold the Winter of 1962/63 was, Thank God that I wasn’t born until 1967. ((((Shiver))))

Resourceguy

I feel sorry for people that have to put up with ramblings from monolithic organizations of govt. or other varieties. Who could have predicted that the peoples that forced through the signing of the Magna Carta to confront the whims of dictators were in turn subjected to the whims of protected bureaucrats.

So now global warming causes abnormally normal weather.
And no one is firing these idiots, or laughing them off the planet.
Screw it. I give up. I’m old enough that I won’t see the worst results of their insanity anyway. Let ’em drag the human race back into the Stone Age, and then extinction.

UK John

This is just speculation from somebody with a credibility of zero, just ignore and carry on.

Chas
DirkH

The good old “loading the dice” metaphor. Do they all get their “science communications” training at the same propaganda school? A quick googling reveals amongst previous users of the metaphor: Krugman, Hansen, Mann; then of course the sycophants NYT, SKS, Forbes, and it even arrived just a few days ago at The World’s Best Thinkers On This And That, http://theenergycollective.com/jim-baird/205191/loading-climate-dice-stacking-odds-against-canada-s-long-term-interests
(I love their understatement)

Green Sand

The glorious Met Office actually believe that UK peak power demand will shift to summer? Is there more than one UK on this planet? Or are they talking about a “virtual” UK?
“Impacts on the UK energy industry”
“Using our climate models to assess future temperature increases, we looked at how this could effect all aspects of the energy industry. This included factoring in issues such as the affect of heat on the efficiency of thermal power stations. We also studied the potential changes in demand as our seasons are altered under climate change – such as an expected shift in peak power demand to the summer as people rely more on air conditioning.”
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/services/climate-services/uk/ukcp/impacts/energy

Athelstan.

Talk to any local farmer in our neck of the woods and he’ll have more idea and paint a better picture of the seasonal variations and weather patterns of recent years.
Ah yes – observation, just when did the Met Office throw observation under a bus?
Observation, gone out of their shiny new super computer facility. Yep, the answer is when the Met office stopped being an objective forecasting agency and filled its ranks with common purpose apparats who know little or next to nothing about meteorology but lots about ‘fixing’ T data and ‘creative’ statistical methodology.
Time to go Mrs. Slingo – your flatulent rambling; incoherent oratory, schoolgirl-like dire excuses, pseudo science and boneheaded adherence to a political fiction [CAGW] are becoming a tad tiresome, just bu88er off to somewhere where your bogus delphic climate divinations can inflict less damage to the British economy and what remains of our industrial base.

adrian smits

Same old story. If it is warm it’s global warming.If it’s cold it’s cold it’s global warming. dry…global warming,wet…..global warming,sunny global warming,cloudy….. Maybe we should ask them instead what would not represent global warming! Just sayin don’t ya know?

Joe Public
hunter

What an ignorant rationalization for the recent weather and for their utter failure in predicting it.

Anthroprogenic confirmation bias seems to be subject to a pretty strong positive feedback effect.

Gareth Phillips

It’s worth looking at observed temps compared to the long term temps on the longest record of climatological observations in science. It makes for grim reading..http://www.netweather.tv/index.cgi?action=cet;sess=

DaveS

Is her bonus linked to her BS quotient?

Bruce Cobb

Climate Disruption? The power of man’s C02 is truly amazing. What can’t it do?

CheshireRed

Ask the Met Office or Prof Slingo for her accurate predictions for the next 1,2,3,4,& 5 years. When she calls them correctly – as she surely must having now completely rumbled ‘how it works’, then we can all worship at the alter of St Julia, can’t we?
But here’s a prediction that WILL come true: they haven’t got a clue. Their CO2-dominated models aren’t working. They know it, but refuse to admit it, as that would mean the end of AGW theory and the eye-wateringly generous perks that go with ‘tackling climate change’.
If they know their models are flawed but don’t acknowledge as such, they stray extremely close to fraud. Just sayin’.

Admad

It is time for the Wet Orifice to be made accountable.

Manfred

She totally ignores the solar link published in dozens if not hundreds of peer reviewed papers for decades. Just a few recent examples:
Nature Geoscience 2010
Solar activity may be to blame for unusually cold winters
“There is a lot of different factors that affect our winter climate. However, the solar cycle would probably have been acting in a way that gave us those cold winters,” said Sarah Ineson, a climate scientist at the Met Office Hadley Centre near Exeter.”
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/solar-activity-may-be-to-blame-for-unusually-cold-winters-2368117.html
Environmental Research Letters 2011
“Over the next 50 years, the researchers show that the probability of the Sun returning to Maunder minimum conditions is about 10 per cent, raising the chances that the average winter temperature will fall below 2.5 oC to around 1 in 7, assuming all other factors, including man-made effects and El Niño, remain constant.”
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/05/study-solar-activity-lull-increases-chances-of-cold-uk-winters/
AGU.org 2012
Link found between cold European winters and solar activity
“The freezing of the Rhine is very important on historical timescales.
By comparing these freezing records to the eleven year cycle of solar activity, it was found that ten of the fourteen freezes occurred during solar minimum, i.e. when there were the least amount of sunspots for that cycle. Sirocko and colleagues found that there is a 99 per cent chance that the freezing is connected to the solar cycle.”
http://www.sen.com/news/link-found-between-cold-winters-and-solar-activity.html

confusedphoton

Julia Slingo knows that Tarot cards are much better than science. Why use science when it does not give you the answer you want.
Why do a real PhD when the university will just give you an honorary one anyway.

be cause

this threatened to be a cold winter but wasn’t. However the last 6 weeks .. in Spring .. have been exceptionally cold throughout Britain . Here in Ireland we are dependent on food imports .. the last 12 months would have seen famine if reliant on home produce .

etudiant

More interesting is that there is no substantial evidence of any little ice age or modern warming in these winter data.
Are these ‘climate fluctuations’ entirely due to differences in summer temperature?

Other_Andy

“Britain’s winters are getting colder because of melting Arctic ice, the Government’s forecaster said yesterday.”
But there hasn’t been much of a change in the Arctic ice coverage during the NH winter. The biggest change in Arctic Ice coverage is during the NH summer.
Is she saying that colder winters in the NH are caused by of melting ice in the NH summer?
How does that work?
As the ice cover in Antarctica is growing, can we expect warmer winters in the SH?
Less ice causes cooling, more ice causes warming?
It’s like that latest ‘study’ that blames global warming (which is according to all major datasets not happening) for record ice cover in Antarctica.
What is the science behind this?

albertalad

Is there any wonder why the UK had become irrelevant since Maggie Thacher? They no longer believe in excellence, like their European counterparts, the results of zombies like this dead beat speak for themselves.

Stephen Richards

My god; and this halfwit is their senior scientist. No wonder they are such a shambles. For crying out loud someone close that b”é””dy nest of vipers.

Stephen Richards

Manfred says:
April 12, 2013 at 1:09 pm
None of those links is real science. Just speculation. Read carefully

So no matter what happens, it’s global warming. Is there any way to falsify this God damn ‘theory’? Back in high school science we learned that a theory which predicts everything is useless because it can’t be frigging tested. What the hell wouldn’t be the fault of global warming in the eyes of these fruit loops?
Worse yet, why are we horrible ‘skeptics’ the only ones with, frankly, the balls to ask these nimrods questions like that?

Stephen Richards

Gareth Phillips says:
April 12, 2013 at 1:02 pm
That link is to a cet made from chosen station data. The site says that the temp it gives does not relate well to HadCET and it doesn’t. It is a good site but not good data.

NoAstronomer

Let me get this straight : Having been told that if it gets warmer then that’s global warming and if it get’s colder then that’s also global warming we’re now expected to believe that if things stay the same it’s still global warming?
We should nickname Julia the ‘Red Queen’.
Mike.

Stephen Richards

Green Sand says:
April 12, 2013 at 12:42 pm
This is the famous R Betts work. Say no more.

NoAstronomer

@Daves “Is her bonus linked to her BS quotient?”
In the final analysis, isn’t everyone’s?
Mike.

Stephen Richards

Chas says:
April 12, 2013 at 12:38 pm
-She shares Willis’s interest in clouds though;
http://www.bristol.ac.uk/pace/graduation/honorary-degrees/hondeg10/slingo.html
That is disgusting. To give away a DSc in a packet of kellogs. It’s the highest science degree possible. It carries all the kudos of Eistein, Newton et al (none of whom received it).

Dave_G

Unfortunate side effects of the Met Office failure to predict accurately include massive increases in energy (gas) due to the power companies not ordering enough for the winter season and having to purchase high-cost extra supplies to cover the shortfall.

DirkH

Stephen Richards says:
April 12, 2013 at 1:25 pm
“Manfred says:
April 12, 2013 at 1:09 pm
None of those links is real science. Just speculation. Read carefully”
So you are saying that the guys who computed the correlation between the solar cycle and the freezings of the Rhine didn’t do real science. That’s interesting. Are you a kind of science umpire?
You might want to tell the Uni Mainz about your findings.
http://www.uni-mainz.de/presse/52970.php

Stephen Richards

Met has no credibility with thinking people; .
There are very few left in the UK. So no problem for dingo, cameron and cleggy.

They should feel soooo embarrassed now whenever they say “Using our climate models…” – What a joke!
Please tell me nobody take Slingo seriously.
It’s time to hollow out these institutions and start over with people with no afflitiation and no bias. Sad to say, it should also be filled with a low paid bracket of scientists (sorry to all scientists), as low pay might actually keep the greens and the other egotists out of it.
The world over, we need dedication to the truth and the presentation of evidence, not starlets waving a graph they just made up. And yes, let’s not be sexist, Michael Mann and the rest are starlets, too.

170,000 pounds per year + provision for retirement in keeping with the manner of her professional life + general overhead for her supercomputer, + secretaries, + personal travel to Bali, + a team of statisticians who really, really know how to run Excel and understand the word ‘significant’. This climate change parasite is costing the saps in the UK millions…and her only achievement is the death of a few thousand saps a year who cannot afford to heat their homes properly. But that is better than the alternative – no free money and conferences in warm places for Julia.

I suspect that such people lack the self consciousness to perceive their inconsistencies.

pinroot

So when the winters weren’t cold and snowy, it was because of Climate Change(TM).
Now that they are cold and snowy, it’s because of Climate Change(TM).
Yeah, clear as mud.

Kaboom

I am all for a thorough investigation of the Met office.

Robber

So when it suits Julia it’s ok to use 5 years to identify a climate trend? And I thought us sceptics had been told we had to wait 15 years, or maybe longer if the trends don’t support the AGW hypothesis.

Skeptic

Slingo called for an urgent investigation. I think we know who should be investigated.

Mycroft

She she be now known as JuLiar Slingo from now on, the utter crap she spews is sickening.Old people are dying in these cold winter spells, has she no shame

Peter Miller

Just another one of those responsible for the world’s most insane energy policies, that of the UK.
A heavyweight bureaucrat, but obviously one much loved by the greenies.
So, despite being utterly incompetent and irresponsible, her job is safe.

Louis

Prof Slingo said: “If you look at the way our weather patterns have behaved over the past four or five years, we’re beginning to think that there is something happening.”
Our models didn’t predict the weather patterns we are currently having, so we’ll adjust the models to fit the current pattern. In the meantime, we’ll stick our finger in the air and predict the future based on what is happening now. Long-term weather forecasting sure has come a long way since the days of reading animal entrails, hasn’t it?

Robert Wykoff

Unfortunately we can’t test this as the previous winter is now historical record. But does anybody on the planet doubt that had this winter been abnormally warm in jolly ole England that it also would have been the fault of shrinking ice caps?

MattS

Joseph,
“Seriously how often must a public sector employee fail in their job before being penalised?”
No man has ever lived long enough to type enough digits to express such a number. 🙂