Flood fight at the Met Office

No, global warming did NOT cause the storms, says one of the Met Office’s most senior experts

One of the Met Office’s most senior experts yesterday made a dramatic intervention in the climate change debate by insisting there is no link between the storms that have battered Britain and global warming.

Mat Collins, a Professor in climate systems at Exeter University, said the storms have been driven by the jet stream – the high-speed current of air that girdles the globe – which has been ‘stuck’ further south than usual.

Professor Collins told The Mail on Sunday: ‘There is no evidence that global warming can cause the jet stream to get stuck in the way it has this winter. If this is due to climate change, it is outside our knowledge.’

His statement carries particular significance because he is an internationally acknowledged expert on climate computer models and forecasts, and his university post is jointly funded by the Met Office.

Prof Collins is also a senior adviser – a ‘co-ordinating lead author’ – for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). His statement appears to contradict Met Office chief scientist Dame Julia Slingo.

Last weekend, she said ‘all  the evidence suggests that climate change has a role to  play’ in the storms.

Prof Collins made clear that he believes it is likely global warming could lead to higher rainfall totals, because a warmer atmosphere can hold more water. But he said this has nothing to do with the storm conveyor belt.

He said that when the IPCC was compiling its Fifth Assessment Report on climate change last year, it discussed whether warming might affect the jet stream. But, he went on, ‘there was very low confidence that climate change has any effect on the jet stream getting stuck’. In the end, the possibility was not even mentioned in the report.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2560310/No-global-warming-did-NOT-cause-storms-says-one-Met-Offices-senior-experts.html#ixzz2tRdMB4oB

h/t to “Jabba the Cat”

Related:

Somerset Floods – February Update

UK flooding, Met Office, and all that – a map from 878AD tells us more than Slingo

 

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pokerguy

NIce to see some integrity for a change. Someone ought to ask Professor Collins what he thinks of Holdren’s recent fantastical claims.

Aphan

Do these people EVER talk to each other?

Chad Wozniak

Still a rather half-kiestered concession to reality.

Michael D

One can’t help but admire Prof. Collins for pointing this out, but I fear he has misunderstood his assignment as a climate scientist, which is to support the political agenda by spinning the science as required.

Eve

There is historical evidence that cooling causes more storms.

Aphan

But Eve, we’d have to be cooling for that to be tr…….Oh. Wait. Shhhhhhhhh

Jeff

Just as with the California drought, it’s obvious that there is a desperation setting in within the alarmist community that some have decided to use these weather events to offset the otherwise cooling temperatures. Problem is that they are telling obvious lies. Thus, they are outright lying and many scientists, even those who support the global warming hypothesis, know this. I’m guessing that these dissenters feel that by trying to score short term points, these advocates who disregard the truth, will actually cause more irreparable harm to global warming theory. That’s why some of them are speaking out. Too bad most will remain silent though even though they know these are lies being told.

Poor guy obviously didn’t get the memo, I can just see Monday’s headline: “Climate professor fired from Exeter University”.

Patrick

What’s the bet he’ll be “retiring” soon and his comments “disappeared”? Here in Australia the ABC headline news is the bad weather in the UK, followed by the drought in Australia and California, followed by articles about the carbon price in Australia, followed by Obama talking about carbon pollution in the atmosphere. We also had the head of the IMF stating that Australia was a “pioneer” in the battle against carbon pollution and climate change. The alarmist message is still strong here.

Udar

Cynical (and hopeful) part of me thinks that this has nothing to do with integrity – he simply wants to distance himself from imminent collapse of the AGW theory.
Unfortunately, rational part of me doesn’t believe this collapse will happen any time soon, so it must be his scientific integrity. Hard to believe, but this is the only reasonable explanation for this unexpected honesty.
That or his imminent retirement. Any one knows how old he is?

I don’t want to be cynical, the more people from the AGW hierarchy who make statements like this, the better. The man is to be congratulated for talking common sense!

Gail Combs

AHHHhhh,
A brake in the ranks as the more intelligent see the writing on the wall and decide to make it out the door first. IMAGE

a jones

Yes, well the wheels are really coming off the bandwaggon. aren’t they. And not all the king’s horses or all the king’s men will put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Of course the waggon has inertia but it is slowing fast.
Kindest Regards .

Karl W. Braun

Oh, a flood fight, I read it as food fight, thought it was a competition for applications for future funding of grants.

Richard111

“Last weekend, she said ‘all the evidence suggests that climate change has a role to play’ in the storms.”
As Eve mentions above, the world is cooling, this results in a higher energy differential between the equator and the poles, this drives stronger winds. If that isn’t ‘climate change’ I don’t know what is.

troe

Should be congratulated for overcoming the natural urge to keep his head down. Lets hear the Prime Ministers response

dp

Can it actually be said that the world is cooling, that the cooling is significant, and that it is a long term trend? If so I missed the memo. Best I’ve read so far is that the rate of increase of heating is zero for some 17 years but that world is still warming at the same rate it has since the end of the LIA. If that is so then it means we have more energy coming in to the Earth system than is leaving or old energy sequestered here is finding its way into the environment.

Gail Combs

Udar says: @ February 15, 2014 at 6:35 pm
… That or his imminent retirement. Any one knows how old he is?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
His CV (DB 1969) and his page at the UNIV link I got it from.
He is about to turn 45, a really bad time of life to have to go job hunting and too early to retire.
So it is integrity or more likely part of the gradual backing away we are starting to see since the hoax has pretty much run its course.
To put it bluntly people are sick to death of getting pounded over the head with CAGW. It is just not ranking very high as a concern for voters. So I expect to see a tip toeing away from the subject and it will just slowly fade as a news worthy item and some new hob-goblin will appear to take its place.
Ten years from now no one will remember we almost bankrupted Western civilization because of the CAGW hoax. We will be too busy trying to dig our way out of the economic mess.
This may be the newest ‘Oh My Gosh!’ The International Monetary Fund Lays The Groundwork For Global Wealth Confiscation
… The report itself says: ….”The tax rates needed to bring down public debt to precrisis levels, moreover, are sizable: reducing debt ratios to end-2007 levels would require a tax rate of about 10 percent on households with positive net wealth.” –
That means that all households with positive net wealth—everyone with retirement savings or home equity—would have their assets plundered under the IMF’s formulation

That financial bomb will make the Foreclosuregate and the Cyprus banking crisis look wimpy.

G. Karst

dp – “heating is zero for 17 years” = fact
” but the world is still warming at the same rate it has since then end of the LIA” = speculation
Depending on the starting point there is some cooling trend in the recent record. But it’s mostly flat. Whether the trend is changing or not from minor uptick continuing from the LIA or an actual decrease is not known yet.

I wish I could conduct these interviews:
Thank you professor, since a warming atmosphere can hold more water – where is that water? Isn’t a significant rise in water vapor content needed to amplify or provide a positive feedback for CO to trigger global warming? Isn’t that rise in water vapor something we can measure?
and so forth …

davidmhoffer

dp;
If that is so then it means we have more energy coming in to the Earth system than is leaving or old energy sequestered here is finding its way into the environment.
>>>>>>>
It means no such thing. Absent a change in albedo, the amount of energy coming in doesn’t change at all. A doubling of CO2, absent feedbacks that affect albedo, changes the amount of energy coming in by exactly zero. It pains me to no end that terminology in this debate has become so sloppy that someone can make such statements not realizing that what they are saying actually contradicts the theory they think they are being supportive of.

SAMURAI

I really don’t see how CAGW can continue to survive.
I’ve been waiting for a point of criticality when the overwhelming evidence against CAGW will become so great, scientists with any sense of integrity and self preservation will find it impossible to remain silent.
This point of criticality can only grow closer from here with each passing year of little to no global warming trend. At some point, CAGW advocates, and those scientists that have remained silent on the issue, will realize that continued support/silence on the failure of CAGW will have negative consequences on climatology specifically and science in general.
Once that point of criticality is reached, scientists will be falling all over themselves to renounce CAGW as it will be in their best interest to do so…. It will important to be on record for speaking out against CAGW as this will come in handy once Congressional/Parliamentary hearings are held to “get to the bottom” of how this CAGW scam could have occurred and how so many $trillions could have been squandered on the biggest hoax in human history.
My guess is that it will take another 4~6 years before this point of criticality to be reached. After the next El Nino/La Nina cycle is finished, and there has been 20+ years of no warming trend, CAGW won’t be able to survive the giggle test..
“Truth is the daughter of time”…

Psalmon

dp, you missed the memo. According to NCEP data global temperatures have fallen significantly in the last 5 years: http://models.weatherbell.com/climate/cfsr_t2m_recent.png

SAMURAI

Gail Combs says:
February 15, 2014 at 7:52 pm
Ten years from now no one will remember we almost bankrupted Western civilization because of the CAGW hoax. We will be too busy trying to dig our way out of the economic mess.
===================================================
Yes, Gail, I’ve been concerned about the same thing. An imminent global economic collapse, which can partially be attributed to $trillions squandered on: CO2 rules, regulations, subsidies, alt-en government loans, bailouts, alt-en mega projects, CO2 taxes, etc., have created an exponential cost to world economies from unintended consequences of malinvested wealth and industrial sectors INTENTIONALLY made less efficient and competitive with CAGW policies.
More importantly, the collapse of CAGW is simply the manifestation of the broader reality that governments are absolutely awful at: controlling economies, monetary policies, fiscal policies, science policies, social policies and protecting personal liberties. The reality of this complete Big- Government failure will be the imminent collapse of the world economy following a century of runaway government spending, runaway government debt and runaway government control over every aspect of our lives.
Perhaps with the collapse of CAGW, more people will gain a healthy skepticism of Big Government and seek alternatives to this failed theory of Big Government Socialism and realize the true role of government is to protect an individual’s inalienable rights and not to control every aspect of the collective…

Gail Combs says February 15, 2014 at 7:21 pm
AHHHhhh,
A brake in the ranks ..

A ‘break’ maybe there Gail, as opposed to putting the ‘brakes’ on?
.

Aphan

Jim, I don’t know about Gail, but I would be happy with either one. 🙂

_Jim says:
February 15, 2014 at 9:44 pm
Gail Combs says February 15, 2014 at 7:21 pm
AHHHhhh,
A brake in the ranks ..
—————————————-
A dyslexic keyboard, perhaps.

If one were to study drought in correlation to low sunspot activity one would find the same occurrence of events as today as in the late 1200s to about 1312. During that time, the Mound Builders north of Houston evacuated their homestead and mound works for parts unknown. They lived on a river.
The Cliff Dwellers of SW Colorado also evacuated their Dwellings due to drought. They also lived by small water river.
Mean time, in England, they were hit by storms knocking out crops due to soaked soil.
I believe this happened again in the last 500 years. Just can’t find the references.
Sincerely,
Paul Pierett

Phillip Bratby

Funny thing, the BBC does not mention this, only the political statements of Miliband, who is certain the “science is clear”. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26213919

strike

@db
there is a downtrend over the last 10,000 years with each millenium colder than the one before…

This is from the Met Office. It is their latest decadal forecast, which has been ‘modeled’ from their latest and best data sets…..””The latest decadal forecast, issued in January 2014, shows that global temperatures are expected to maintain the record warmth that has been observed over the last decade, and furthermore that it is possible that new record global temperatures may be reached in the next five years. Averaged over the five-year period 2014-2018, global average temperature is expected to remain high and is likely to be between 0.17 °C and 0.43 °C above the long-term (1981-2010) average. This compares with an anomaly of +0.26 °C observed in 2010, the warmest year on record.””
————————————————-
Perhaps, WUWT regulars can assemble a competing forecast in response.

Unmentionable

” … His statement appears to contradict Met Office chief scientist Dame Julia Slingo. …”
Which all begs the question of just what was the good Dr. Slingo basing her comments upon given science can be ruled-out and she’s a chief-scientist framing her comments in the context of such expertise in science?
Maybe she mis-spoke and meant something else entirely?

pat

could someone send this information to Jeff Masters!
VIDEO: 13 Feb: Democracy Now: Meteorologist Jeff Masters: Climate Change Affecting Weather Patterns Regardless of Season
JEFF MASTERS: Yeah, we have to understand that climate change is affecting all weather patterns, regardless of the season. Yes, winter still occurs. But we do expect climate change to affect jet stream patterns in winter storms. Now, in particular, this kind of very unusual jet stream pattern that’s been so persistent is something that could arise out of climate change. We don’t often see the jet stream lock into place like this and not budge for a period of months. And we make that more likely—is one research avenue being explored now—if we remove a lot of sea ice in the Arctic, warming up the Arctic more than the rest of the planet. That can have impacts on the jet stream, causing it to slow down and to not move quite as quickly, and lock in place for these extended periods like we’ve seen.
http://www.democracynow.org/2014/2/13/meteorologist_jeff_masters_climate_change_affecting

Greg

There are some good , objective people working for the Met Office too. They’re just not vocal enough.
It is good to see some of the more rational minds having the courage and integrity to speak out and contradict some of unfounded rubbish M.O. Chief Propagandist Slingo comes out with.
Kudos to Prof. Collins.

bobl

Prof Collins made clear that he believes it is likely global warming could lead to higher rainfall totals, because a warmer atmosphere can hold more water. But he said this has nothing to do with the storm conveyor belt
Prof Collins better think again, every litre (kg) of water cycled through the hydrological cycle consumes at least 29.400 + 2256 = 2286 kJ of energy. Given the radiative imbalance driving climate change is only 0.6W per square meter, how much water does he think can be evaporated using the available energy budget. Given that this much energy is consumed in the hydrological cycle, just how does he expect temperatures are going to rise also?
Prof Collins – Think, Energy In has to equal Energy Out, While Warmer air can hold more water, it doesn’t stay warmer when it does, evaporating water consumes that thermal energy! I’m so sick of so-called scientists ignoring energy.

Non Nomen

I hope this bout of common sense doesn’t cost him his job. Hockeyschtikkers can be malicious…

Unmentionable

pat says:
February 15, 2014 at 11:06 pm
could someone send this information to Jeff Masters!
” … That can have impacts on the jet stream, causing it to slow down and to not move quite as quickly, and lock in place for these extended periods like we’ve seen. …”
ha! oh, he’s quite the wag, isn’t he?
OK, let’s torture it for a bit and see if it talks.
Given “the” jetstream is a jet of rushing air being squeezed and thus constantly deforming between moving midlevel tropical Lows and higher latitude Highs … er, which now immediately begs the question to which ‘jetstream’ Mr Masters was referring, given there are two fairly distinctive and geographically more-or-less separate jetstream bands, within each hemisphere?
Was it the subtropical. or polar jetstream?
Or was it, like, with regard to all things of a jetstream-ery type persuasion?
And given the presumption is that AGW leads to (subtlety) higher thermal energy that then needs to be redistributed globally. And it is in fact so subtle that it can’t assuredly even be detected at all … but never mind that for now … plus, we seem to be seeing stronger mid-latitude highs with more polar ice formation currently … which implies a steepening thermal gradient between the equatorial tropics and poles, which means a tighter average pressure gradient doesn’t it?
Plus given the jetstream is a product of that gradient’s intensity and resulting standing pressure patterns.
Well, can someone explain why the jetstream thingummyjig would then slow down on average?
Because from the above, and on the contrary, a more intense thermal and pressure gradient would normally suggest a more intense squeezing effect upon the jets of air in the mid-latitudes mid-levels.
So given local jetstream speed is the function of the squeezing of air-masses, due to the intervening thermally induced pressure gradient, should it not in fact speed-up if jetstream speed was averaged globally?
And dear reader, I want to emphasise that this is such a tremendously subtle effect given the global temperature variation is virtually or actually imaginary or else a systemic measurement and data tweaking artefact, but maybe is trending more toward detectable decline more recently … so it’s really, really very subtle indeed, and it should not surprise anyone if it is in fact entirely undetectable and perhaps even incapable of ever being tested.
footnote: I belatedly realized this should have been preceded with a time-waste warning and apologise, on behalf of Mr Masters, to all those affected.

Mariwarcwm

Am I missing something? I read Prof Collins’ CV and apart from his comments on the latest storms he seems to be quite comfortably within the CAGW alarm camp and in no danger of being fired.

SAMURAI,
Anything can be catrastrophic, planatary, galactic, universal?
Bullsht like you is being scraped of scientific ledge.

Questing Vole

The background to this here in UK is that the opposition leader, Ed Miliband’s, has said that climate change is “a national security issue”*, while the leader of the Green Party, Natalie Bennett (who doesn’t sound British) has called for the Government to sack any senior advisers – and she means ministers too – who are not signed up to AGW. The interview with her on the Beeb is worth a listen – the interviewer checks and double checks that this totalitarian solution really is what she means.
* the real “national security issue” would be having this fruitcake as PM.

My response to one of the Daily Mail’s commenters;
‘What consensus is that, SARA? If you’re talking about the 97% you do realise that is based on a flawed study where 77 out of 79 ‘scientists’ sort of agreed it might be happening. This from a survey that went out to more than 10,000 scientists covering a range of disciplines.’
There’s still a long way to go in re-educating in sheeple, I’m afraid.

John

Glad someone had the balls to come out and say it. I wish the media wouldn’t let scientists get such an easy ride on this “These storms are caused by CO2”. Would it hurt for one journalist to say “Ok, can you explain the science behind that claim?”.

Steve C

Well said Prof. Collins, but even while you tell the truth the BBC is yet again in high gear propaganda mode endlessly quoting one after another big-mouthed scientific illiterate jabbering about how it’s all proof of global warming, etc., etc. ad nauseam. Good luck getting the message out and please, don’t stop trying.

Jimbo

Professor Collins told The Mail on Sunday: ‘There is no evidence that global warming can cause the jet stream to get stuck in the way it has this winter. If this is due to climate change, it is outside our knowledge.’

That’s right but why don’t we speculate? Ahhh, here is something from yesterday’s tips and notes which may have triggered the good professor into his intervention.
[My emphasis]

BBC – 15 February 2014
Wavier jet stream ‘MAY drive weather shift’
New research suggests that the main system that helps determine the weather over Northern Europe and North America may be changing…………..
The work was presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Chicago.
The observation could be as a result of the recent warming of the Arctic. Temperatures there have been rising two to three times faster than the rest of the globe.
According to Prof Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University in New Jersey: “This does seem to suggest that weather patterns are changing and people are noticing that the weather in their area is not what it used to be.”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26023166

So you take a natural weather event and try to link it to man’s emissions. What happens if the jet stream heads back into position? Will we blame man? What if next winter the UK gets less rain will they still blame man? They are digging themselves into a hole and they keep doing this kinda things.

The storms are due to climate change but natural climate change back towards patterns that prevail during cooling periods:
http://www.newclimatemodel.com/new-climate-model/
and here is some visual evidence of actual cooling:
http://www.newclimatemodel.com/update-2014-visual-proof-of-global-cooling/

[Snip]

meltemian

Much to my surprise the BBC has this on their news website this morning.
It’s not at all unprecedented after all!
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26153241

Unmentionable

They should just cut the fluffing and come out with what’s really on their mind:
More CO2 = climate-change = “please sir, can I have more?” = $$$ = longer gravy train = we need to scare up more TV dinners
Therefore, create fantasy to distract from fact that CO2 does not equal climate-change.
i.e. “We’re gonna need a bigger shark.”

Senna the soothsayer strikes out again.

meltemian says:
February 16, 2014 at 1:16 am
————————————–
The BBC must have heard the drumbeats.