Slingo Speaks: ‘…no extreme weather or climate event can be attributed solely to climate change”

Weather and climate: in the eye of the storm

By Julio Slingo,  published in the Financial Times, 13 April 2017 (h/t to Larry Kummer)

Julia Slingo is the former chief scientist of the Met Office.

In 1972, fresh from a physics degree at Bristol University, I joined the UK’s national weather service, the Met Office. I liked meteorology because I could look out of the window and see physics in action. Clouds forming in a blue sky, and the wind blowing so often from the west

— it was not immediately obvious why that should be, and I was intrigued. (I learnt later that the UK lies right in the path of the jet stream, a band of westerly winds that circles the mid-latitudes. The jet stream arises from the rotation of the Earth — the Coriolis Force — and because the planet is heated at the equator and cooled at the poles.)

I joined a team building the first climate models, simulating the evolution of the Earth’s atmosphere on the basis of fundamental physical principles. Elsewhere, and based on very similar science, numerical weather forecasting was taking off. I made some of the early calculations of how sensitive the climate might be to increasing levels of carbon dioxide. Little did I know then that this would become one of the defining problems of the 21st century.

In the decades since, simulations produced by these models have become the bedrock of our understanding of how the weather and climate work. With the help of new technologies, such as satellites and supercomputers, these models have revolutionised our thinking: we use them for forecasting from hours to years ahead, and they are central to assessing future climate change and its impacts.

But more than that, for scientists like myself, these models are our laboratories. With them we can find out why our climate varies, and why it now seems to be changing.

It has only been through simulating what the world would have been like without greenhouse gas emissions that we can say with confidence that humans have been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.

Yet even as our capabilities improve, the challenge for meteorologists is increasing. Our planet’s population is rising, cities are growing rapidly, often along coastlines, and our world is increasingly and intricately interdependent — relying on global telecommunications, transport systems and the resilient provision of food, energy and water. All of these are vulnerable to adverse weather and climate. The additional pressure of climate change poses new questions about how secure we will be in the future.

***

In early 2009, some 37 years after first joining the Met Office, I returned as its chief scientist, attracted by a desire to see my science working for society. It was clear to me that the weather and climate would have considerable direct and indirect impacts on us, perhaps more so than ever before — on our livelihoods, property, well-being and prosperity. It was equally clear that the benefits of access to the best weather and climate science and predictions would be profound.

The Earth’s atmosphere is massively complex and, as a result, the weather we experience varies hugely from place to place and over different times of the year. We cannot understand and forecast our weather in the UK without seeing it in the context of the global atmosphere and, increasingly, the global oceans.

Our forecasts now embrace timescales from a few hours to a decade ahead, and our climate change projections give us scenarios, out to the end of the century and beyond, of how the weather and climate may change in fundamental ways as the Earth responds to rising levels of greenhouse gases.

Increasingly, we look to these simulations to understand the likelihood of hazardous or extreme weather such as storms, heatwaves or prolonged drought — and what these represent in terms of risks to society. In the UK, as in many other parts of the world, we are well aware that nearly all the highest-impact weather events are localised. Flooding regularly costs the country millions of pounds, and can take a huge toll on the lives of those worst affected — yet the areas involved are often only a few kilometres wide.

During my time as chief scientist we were able to implement a new forecasting system based on a model that works at the scale of our local weather. We had been striving for this for many years

— we knew it was feasible scientifically, but the computational power was just not available. With the latest advances in supercomputing and investment by the government, this has become a reality. Now, for the first time, the cloud systems that deliver our rainfall are captured by the model with the level of fidelity needed to predict severe, localised events.

This has proved to be a landmark in weather research and forecasting. It has meant that we could provide the detailed severe weather warnings that were so essential in recent winters for protecting lives and livelihoods against the winds, waves and floods that battered the country. In the St Jude’s Day storm of 2013, for example, and again for Storm Desmond in 2015-16, we were able to alert emergency services, transport providers and local authorities, often more than 24 hours in advance. This meant that temporary flood defences could be deployed, bridges closed, train services rescheduled and plans put in place for rapid post-event recovery.

Beyond the weather, we are also exposed and vulnerable to the Earth’s natural variations in the climate, such as El Niño, the intermittent warming of the tropical East Pacific Ocean that has profound effects around the world, including droughts and wildfires in Indonesia, poor monsoon rains in India and floods in California.

We need to be better prepared for such events, so that we can manage the risks they pose more effectively. The good news is that it’s now possible to predict an El Niño event at least six months in advance. Nearer to home, for the UK and Europe, we have developed the capability to assess the likelihood of a particular kind of winter several months beforehand, so that we can predict, say, a mild, wet winter or a drier, cooler winter — something considered unlikely a few years ago.

Advances in modelling the ‘Earth system’ are bringing about a new age in our science, enabling us to probe in greater detail than ever before the processes and phenomena that shape the world

This has only come about because we have rigorously explored processes in the atmosphere and oceans that determine our seasonal climate, and pushed the resolution of our models to provide much greater realism at the regional scale, again enabled by more powerful supercomputers. As a result there have been major advances in what we call seasonal forecasting, and the potential for further advances is huge.

Within the next few years we should be able to provide early warnings of extended cold spells and heatwaves that will enable health services, energy suppliers and transport providers to be better prepared. We are still learning how best to communicate and utilise the wealth of information in our seasonal forecasts, but recent scientific breakthroughs give us confidence that their potential value is high.

***

And then there is climate change. Temperatures have risen by about 1.0C since pre-industrial times; Arctic sea ice extent has declined by 3 per cent every decade since records began in 1979

— and at a faster rate in summer; sea levels have been rising by about 3mm a year since the early 1990s; each of the past three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850. We are more confident than ever that humans have been the dominant cause of the rise in temperatures since the 1950s.

While no extreme weather or climate event can be attributed solely to climate change, after the terrible damage of the 2013-14 winter storms and again the flooding in 2015-16, people inevitably and rightly ask: is this climate change?

There is as yet no “definitive answer” to this question, partly due to the highly variable nature of the UK’s climate (ie our “British weather”), but the evidence we do have, such as increasingly heavy daily rainfall and rising sea levels, suggests that the risks of serious flooding and coastal inundation are growing with climate change. Our job now is to say in greater detail what this might mean for the UK’s weather patterns, so that we can make wise choices about investing in infrastructure to increase our resilience.

We do know that some level of climate change is inevitable regardless of what happens to carbon emissions in the future, because of the accumulation of carbon within the atmosphere. This

means that some level of adaptation will be necessary. How we adapt is a key question. The scale of potential spending on, say, flood defence systems, the risks associated with failure, and the long lifetimes and lead-times involved mean that such investments are likely to be highly sensitive to how climate change evolves over the next two to three decades. We need to be sure that we climate-proof our cities and our infrastructure.

There is no doubt that new and more robust climate projections will be required on a country-by- country level if we are to adapt to the challenges and even exploit the opportunities presented by climate change.

In 2018, the Met Office will deliver its latest assessments of what the UK’s weather might be like in the coming decades, using the same local-scale model that we have recently deployed in weather forecasting. The outputs of this model should help us understand far more about the volatility of our weather in the future, and how extreme weather at the local scale, such as flash floods and storm surges, may affect us.

Looking beyond the next few decades, we also need to assess the longer-term risks of irreversible or dangerous climate change, such as the loss of the Greenland ice sheet, huge releases of methane — a potent greenhouse gas — from melting permafrost, long-term sea level rise and acidification of the oceans. Remarkable progress has been made in building a new generation of models that represent many more components of the Earth, such as ice sheets, vegetation and marine life — now known as “Earth system” models. We need to understand the future evolution of the whole Earth system and how it has evolved in the past under major climatic changes.

This landmark system meant we could provide the warnings that were so essential recently to protect lives against the winds and floods that battered the country

This knowledge will be critical for deciding the pace and depth of climate change mitigation actions. We are learning, for example, that melting permafrost has the potential to release large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, effectively reducing what we can emit in the coming decades — our allowable carbon budget — if we are to stay within the limit of a global surface temperature increase of 2C, or even 1.5C, as agreed in Paris in December 2015.

Advances in modelling the Earth system are bringing about a new age in our science, enabling us to probe in greater detail than ever before the processes and phenomena that shape the world.

These new capabilities have begun to unlock the benefits of weather and climate intelligence, but much more can be achieved. The science is never “done”; there is always more to learn, and the complexity of our world means that there will always be things we don’t know.

Increasingly, our actions and our responses to environmental change, such as landscape management and flood defences, will influence the environment itself. For this reason, we need to make significant advances in the end-to-end evaluation of environmental risks and benefits. This will require the integration of the physical simulation of weather and climate with areas

such as advanced modelling of the built environment; quantification of the value of natural capital and ecosystem services; understanding of human dynamics; modelling of ecological systems; and new approaches to modelling financial and socioeconomic impact.

***

Last December, I retired after nearly eight years as Met Office chief scientist. It was a pleasure and privilege to lead one of the best environmental research organisations in the world at a time when, more than ever, we depend on skilful, comprehensive predictions of the weather, climate and the broader environment.

It is worth reflecting on the words of vice-admiral Robert FitzRoy, the captain of the Beagle who took Charles Darwin on his momentous voyages but who was also the founder of the Met Office. After the wreck of the Royal Charter in a terrible storm in 1859, he wrote to The Times:

“Man cannot still the raging of the wind, but he can predict it. He cannot appease the storm, but he can escape its violence, and if all the appliances available for the salvation of life [from shipwreck] were but properly employed the effects of these awful visitations might be wonderfully mitigated.”

More than 150 years ago, FitzRoy embarked on the long journey of making predictions as a means of reducing and managing the impacts of severe weather and climate change, and his words speak across the years to us today.

From the global to the local and from hours to decades, our understanding of weather and climate and the predictions we make will enable us to plan for the future and keep us safe.

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159 thoughts on “Slingo Speaks: ‘…no extreme weather or climate event can be attributed solely to climate change”

      • It wasn’t bad until he went off on a tangent about how climate warming was going to make everything worse.
        He’s using the fact that weather models have gotten better to sell the notion that climate models are accurate.
        When the fact is they measure and predict two entirely different things.

      • “the potential for further advances is huge.”
        ha ha ha – way to spin that!
        (translation: ‘our ignorance is vast’)
        and so much of it is in the subjunctive tense – one might think it’s a fairy tale.
        wait…

      • [S]He’s using the fact that weather models have gotten better to sell the notion that climate models are accurate.

        Astute observation, MarkW.

      • Should be Julia not Julio

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        Yet even as our capabilities improve, the challenge for meteorologists is increasing. Our planet’s population is rising, cities are growing rapidly, often along coastlines, and our world is increasingly and intricately interdependent — relying on global telecommunications, transport systems and the resilient provision of food, energy and water. All of these are vulnerable to adverse weather and climate. The additional pressure of climate change poses new questions about how secure we will be in the future. 

        If adverse weather and climate make our global systems vulnerable, why would we want to limit our energy sources to those most vulnerable to adverse weather events?

    • While Julia clings onto the touching belief that the climate models have anything to do with reality, her predictions will turn out wrong time after time.

    • Agreed – these quotes in particular are telling…

      “But more than that, for scientists like myself, these models are our laboratories.”

      Which is indicative of why the climate predictions of “scientists like yourself” are so far from reality – because your fantasy world “model” is just regurgitating the incorrect assumptions you loaded in up front.

      “Little did I know then that this [note: ref to CO2 effect on temperature] would become one of the defining problems of the 21st century.”

      WHAT PROBLEM?! The “problem” exists only in your Matrix-esque computer generated fantasy world.

      “It has only been through simulating what the world would have been like without greenhouse gas emissions that we can say with confidence that humans have been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”

      Simulating, with a “model” that “assumes” CO2 drives temperature, something that the Earth’s paleoclimate history plainly shows to be false, and with a multitude of “tuning” to force fit the garbage “model” to known results, plus the insistence that the now “accurately hindcasting” tuned model can predict the future. SMH!

      “We do know that some level of climate change is inevitable regardless of what happens to carbon emissions in the future, because of the accumulation of carbon within the atmosphere.”

      Yes, climate change is inevitable. NO, it is NOT because of the CO2 level, or the minuscule human contribution thereto.

      “This knowledge will be critical for deciding the pace and depth of climate change mitigation actions. We are learning, for example, that melting permafrost has the potential to release large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, effectively reducing what we can emit in the coming decades — our allowable carbon budget — if we are to stay within the limit of a global surface temperature increase of 2C, or even 1.5C, as agreed in Paris in December 2015.”

      Funny how I seem to have read somewhere that the fears of massive greenhouse gas emissions related to permafrost melting simply were not materializing. Oh but wait! That was here in the real world – silly me, what do I know? I haven’t seen what the MODELS SAY. SMH!

      Oh, and the suggestion that we humans are going to dictate the boundary of temperature change is the ultimate hubris, arrogance, ignorance and self-delusion – first demonstrate that you can stop those blasted tides from rolling in, then maybe I’ll believe you can limit the temperature change!

      Overall, this is a fine example of how “scientists” living in a bubble world of overfunding, groupthink, poor assumptions, confirmation bias, pal review of published papers, and accolades from those pushing the political agenda will see the world. And should the masses follow the lead of these self-deluded pseudo-scientists, they will be lead straight off a cliff economically, to “fix” absolutely nothing.

  1. The models aren’t right though.
    Her entire career has been based on flawed science such that she and her colleagues have caused untold damage.
    HH Lamb was on the right track but they threw it all away.

    • Right. If the models they use were on track, they would be correct in their forecasts for coming seasons as well as weeks. They only get it right for a week or so from what I see, although the Met is more often correct than it’s competition in the US. Weatherbell’s use of analog history combined with models is best on my long-range forecast scorecard.

      • Pop Piasa,

        Weatherbell’s use of analog history combined with models is best on my long-range forecast scorecard.

        I could not agree more, PP. I’ve listened to Bastardi’s weekly, then daily & weekly, reports every reporting day for three years. Bastardi has been consistently accurate in his forecasts. Ahead of everyone. When he says later that he missed something or screwed up (rare), he is quick to correct and elucidate the unknowns.

      • Models are NOT “laboratories!” They are ways to explore the possible consequences of our understanding and serve that useful purpose. But the models must be VERIFIED by the laboratories with real data. The models are failing miserably in that realm.

    • Indeed, the comment “In the decades since, simulations produced by these models have become the bedrock of our understanding of how the weather and climate work.” is back to front. A bedrock of understanding of how weather and climate work should be needed to first.

      • Richard

        No, she is correct: the [bad] models are indeed the “bedrock” of their [bad] understanding. To her, the fact models have a tenuous-to-non-existent relationship with reality is simply a meaningless detail.

        Well, except for the billions of tax-payer dollars this meaningless exercise inspires weak leaders to waste

      • Javert Chip has it spot on. Their stupid models ARE the bedrock of their “understanding,” which is why their “understanding” has little resemblance to reality. But then, what does reality know – after all, they have so much invested in the models…SMH

    • The one question I would have liked to hear her answer is why it occurred to her or to anyone else to define carbon dioxide as the bogeyman.

      When she started on climate models it must already have been apparent to any serious researcher that at that time there was no correlation between CO2 and temperature because while CO2 was on a fairly straight rising trend temperatures were following a course which aligned considerably better with other known climate phenomena.

      Apart from the demands of the enviro-activists what was there — then — to lead serious scientists in that direction?

      • Newminster :

        You ask

        Apart from the demands of the enviro-activists what was there — then — to lead serious scientists in that direction?

        Julia Slingo started her career at the Met Office in 1972. From 1980 the “lead” for “serious scientists” was available research funds, career enhancement, and prestige; see this.

        Richard

      • Good point.
        As I dimly recaĺl, in the early ’70s the big climate scare was about a coming ice age.
        And nobody had even taken CO2 in for questioning, let alone charged it with crimes against humanity.

      • Thanks for that link, Richard. As it happens I already have that article on file with one by Monckton, thanks to following a link provided by your son some time ago!

        I take your point but as Mick in the Hills points out (colourfully but quite accurately) at that point CO2 wasn’t in the frame for anything except as one more part of the overall pattern of climate behaviour. The idea that changing the concentration of an essential trace gas from 0.03% to 0.04% could have a major effect on planetary weather is such a ludicrous concept (on the face of it, at least, and especially when historical temperature records showed considerable variation without any CO2 assistance) that there ought to have been considerably greater resistance to the concept than there was.

        Only now, it seems, is that resistance beginning to appear, as the divergence between “CO2-based” models (for want of a better term) and reality becomes too great to ignore.

      • Newminster, the IPCC AR5 using “expert” judgement to reduce the overheated models should raise alarm throughout the climate study community. The fact that it didn’t proves that individuals in the community are complicit in perpetuating a fraud.

      • Newminster:

        I was not aware that you had the article at the link and, therefore, I apologise if my providing the link caused any offence.

        However, my point remains. The ‘Acid Rain’ scare was the major environmental issue in the 1970s. It was not until 1980 that Thatcher started to promote ‘global warming’.

        As my article at the link says

        Please observe that the diagrams do not mention environmentalists. That is because they had no interest in ‘global warming’ at the time the diagrams were constructed. Indeed, the initial reaction of Greenpeace to Thatcher having raised the scare was to oppose ‘global warming’ because they saw it as a distraction from the ‘acid rain’ scare.

        and

        On face value global warming is an environmental issue. Many environmentalists joined the bandwagon. Governments were offering money and the public were concerned at global warming. Any environmental issue which could be linked to global warming was said to be involved in the matter. But the environmentalist interest was aroused by the impact of the issue. Contrary to common belief, environmentalists did not raise awareness of global warming, they responded to it. Simply, environmentalist organisations were part of the general public and decided to use the issue when it became useful to them.

        So, I would wish to hear it if you have any evidence that the Met. Office were interested in ‘global warming’ prior to 1980. At present, I think Slingo went along with what her employer was doing prior to 1980 and she continued to go along with the ‘change of course’ the Met. Office undertook in the early 1980s.

        Richard

      • Anybody working at the same place since 1972 has no idea what is really going on. They become part of the problem.

      • Richard, you make great play of Margaret Thatcher’s role in promoting AGW. I agree that, on first examination she was of that persuasion, and also against coal, but in reading her ‘Downing Street Years’ biography I find this about her (which I have had to retype as it can’t be cut ‘n’ pasted) when trying to qualify her views on AGW and Acid Rain:

        For the socialist, each new discovery revealed a ‘problem’ for which the repression of human activity by the state was the only ‘solution’ and the state-planned production targets must always take precedence. The scarred landscape, dying forests, poisoned rivers and sick children of the former communist states bear tragic testimony to which the system worked better, both for people and the environment.

        Seems to me that she was very much a pragmatist and, as such, would today be called a sceptic. By the same token she was not against coal (and I can’t be b*ggered to retype that section from her book), she was FOR economics. That made her a hard-faced b*tch – but she was not wrong. Even the previous Labour party had seen that. She was just brave in her pragmatism, if not so very human.

      • Harry Passfield:

        If you had read the link I provided then you would have seen I did NOT – and I do not – claim Thatcher created the global warming scare to oppose the coal industry. Her deliberate destruction of the coal industry was a separate issue for her. (I was the Vice President of the British Association of Colliery Management, BACM, and we conducted the Ridley Plan that Thatcher imposed to close the industry.)

        None of that is pertinent to the matter under discussion except that Slingo started work at the Met. Office in 1972 and there was no ‘global warming’ issue until Thatcher started the ‘global warming scare in early 1980.
        As I report in the link

        The hypothesis of man-made global warming has existed since the 1880s. It was an obscure scientific hypothesis that burning fossil fuels would increase CO2 in the air to enhance the greenhouse effect and thus cause global warming. Before the 1980s this hypothesis was usually regarded as a curiosity because the nineteenth century calculations indicated that mean global temperature should have risen more than 1°C by 1940, and it had not. Then, in 1979, Mrs Margaret Thatcher (now Lady Thatcher) became Prime Minister of the UK, and she elevated the hypothesis to the status of a major international policy issue.

        and

        Overseas politicians began to take notice of Mrs Thatcher’s campaign if only to try to stop her disrupting summit meetings. They brought the matter to the attention of their civil servants for assessment, and they reported that – although scientifically dubious – ‘global warming’ could be economically important. The USA is the world’s most powerful economy and is the most intensive energy user. If all countries adopted ‘carbon taxes’, or other universal proportionate reductions in industrial activity, each non-US industrialised country would gain economic benefit over the United States. So, many politicians from many countries joined with Mrs Thatcher in expressing concern at global warming and a political bandwagon began to roll. Mrs Thatcher had raised an international policy issue and thus become an influential international politician.

        Richard

      • Richard: You say:

        I did NOT – and I do not – claim Thatcher created the global warming scare to oppose the coal industry

        I can’t see anything in my comment that would lead one to believe that was my point. It certainly wasn’t in my intent. I was trying to show two parts of her policy: Her being led into the AGW scare by civil servants (OK, maybe not so clear in my comment), and her (cold, hard) attitude to economics, which did for the coal industry. That said, she was sorely provoked by the likes of Scargill and without him it may not have been such a painful period.

        Maybe I should not have gone so off-topic but your comments have alluded to coal/Thatcher and climate.

      • Harry Passfield:

        Your comments are both off-topic and untrue.

        You say

        her (cold, hard) attitude to economics, which did for the coal industry. That said, she was sorely provoked by the likes of Scargill and without him it may not have been such a painful period.

        Thatcher conducted her destruction of the economic coal industry for purely political reasons, Scargill was incompetent in his attempts to oppose that destruction but claiming he “provoked” what she did is akin to blaming a victim for her rape.

        Richard

    • What Julia doesn’t remark on is that the “weather models” (as opposed to the “climate models”) are constantly going through a series of validation tests. This form of validation allows them to make changes to the weather models, presumably to improve their forecast accuracy out to longer time periods. The GFS (the “American” model) has gone through several changes over the past years which has improved its resolution and accuracy with respect to the forecasts. The models still have difficulties more than 10 days out, but it is incrementally getting better and provides useful and important forecasts despite the problems.

      Contrast this with the climate models. While I do not have insights into the feedback/improvement processes for the climate models, it certainly appears that they are in denial about validation. The climate models have consistently NOT incorporated possible negative feedback mechanisms, solar impacts, or a more robust relationship between the atmosphere and the oceans. The result is a claim of greater certainty while the models diverge form actual observations.

      Where Julia makes the mistake is equating what has been a responsible and valuable adjustment process for the weather models and assume the same has taken place in the climate models. She is either deluding herself or is complicit in the false statements that the models are getting better and accurately model the very complex, non-linear and chaotic system that is our climate. Without validation, a model is just a real time snapshot and should never be relied on as a forecast tool.

    • Well, being somewhat generous, it is possible to model/predict for a short time into the future with models, assuming that you can set the start conditions correctly.

      The problems arise because of random perturbation. The effect of most of these is relatively minor, but over time they add up, and eventually the model begins to deviate more and more from reality.

      Because the perturbations are random (in timing and amplitude) they can’t be included in the model – well, they can, and you can run the same model a million times or so and when you randomly model a run that agrees with reality you can call your model good.

      A realistic (real) scientist would recognize the shortcomings of using models to predict beyond a certain point. They would spend time analyzing just how far into the future the models are good for (50% accuracy???).

      Pretending that they are useful for anything other than a random guess at the future beyond that point is really deception. Of themselves, and the people paying their salaries.

      • Actually it’s things like rounding error and the fact that they have to model the atmosphere as a series of boxes which requires parameterization of everything within the box.
        That’s the biggest reason why more powerful computers produce better results.
        Our understanding of the physics of weather hasn’t improved that much over the last 30 years. What’s happened is that as computers get more powerful the number of boxes can increase which means each box is smaller. This means we can project further into the future before the errors build up to unacceptable levels.

      • better computers = better CGI
        now they can get the rotation of the cyclones right for the next dystopian award winner.
        if there isn’t a dystopian award, may i suggest the ‘Eeyore’ be created and awarded at an annual ceremony to the most morose of the ‘useful academics’?

      • MarkW,

        The problem is our measurements have gotten quite a bit worse on land and only better in the ocean in the last 15 years. Simultaneously measuring wind speed and direction, relative and absolute humidity, and temperature on each 1km x 1km x 1km cube of atmosphere is so far beyond our capabilities as to be a laugher. It doesn’t matter how good our computers get, if we are guessing at the starting conditions for 99% of the surface/atmosphere/ocean system than the model outputs are so much garbage. The problem with a super precise model grid is you need precise starting condition measurements for EVERY single parameter for EVERY single cube.

        The more your starting conditions vary from reality, the sooner your model diverges to garbage!

      • What’s happened is that as computers get more powerful the number of boxes can increase which means each box is smaller. This means we can project further into the future before the errors build up to unacceptable levels.

        MarkW. The settled science errors build up to unacceptable levels in less than a day in my opinion. How much further into the future would you say the projections can fly?

    • No, the Holy Grail is SJW-ers using speculative models to control human behavior:

      “This will require the integration of the physical simulation of weather and climate with areas such as advanced modelling of the built environment; quantification of the value of natural capital and ecosystem services; understanding of human dynamics; modelling of ecological systems; and new approaches to modelling financial and socioeconomic impact.”

      No uncertainty allowed in propagating the dogma. It is: Our models are truth!

      Nowhere in her screed did I see a humble acknowledgment that models may not reflect reality, much less uncertainty about future events.

  2. i will repeat this as often as in needed, the “climate” is not a force, it has NO power or control over any weather events……the climate is nothing more than a set of statistics, the average of the weather stats from the previous 30 years for a given area……….to claim the climate caused any weather event shows total lack of basic science understanding.

    • “Climate change cannot be attributed to extreme weather events” , there, fixed that for her.

      • If “climate” is the averaging of “weather” over a 30+ year period — or whatever the definition is these days — how can “climate change” drive the weather?

    • And that is about the most accurate (and easiest) thing they forecast.
      Rain and wind speed forecasts are almost totally useless for specific time periods/locations.

  3. Experts can always find facts to bolster their positions. I have no doubt that the Met office has made great progress. Notwithstanding that:

    … Back in 2010 it was widely reported that the Met Office might be about to lose its BBC contract to the New Zealanders, amid speculation that the BBC was unhappy with the accuracy of its forecasting. Even the Met Office admitted that its global temperature predictions had been wrong in nine of the previous 10 years.

    But the chief reason why the Met Office has been getting so many forecasts spectacularly wrong, as reported here ad nauseam, is that all its short, medium and long-term forecasts ultimately derive from the same huge computer model, which is programmed to believe in manmade global warming. Hence the fun we’ve all had with those “barbecue summers” when rain never stopped, and “warmer than average” winters, which promptly saw Britain freezing under piles of snow. link

    The Met folks have great faith in their computers in spite of the fact that Edward Lorenz amply demonstrate that their quest is futile.

    • Right CB, how can their be any progress in the sunny view of prediction with $150m computers fed the same hot fudge.

    • I think they’d better program in Joe Bastardi’s “bathtub slosh theory” because it’s happening right now in Europe and soon in the US heartland.

  4. I was expecting some retrospection and change in thinking from the title but J. Slingo gave us much of what we’ve come to expect from her. I suppose it was decent of her to state that we still can’t see an AGW component to lousy weather and she gave a hat tip to mitigation without draconian chopping off of life- and environmental-giving fossil fuels. I guess she had to take this small step back (and then hammer the wonderful accomplishments of models) now that she is retired and doesn’t want the old stuff to kick her in the A55 a few years from now.

  5. sea levels have been rising by about 3mm a year since the early 1990s; each of the past three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850.

    For the 30 years leading up to 1950 sea levels were rising at about 3 mm/yr and then trailed off until the ’90s. Random variation or evidence of an undulating phenomenon the point is, it’s happened before.

    There’s been a warm-up since the 1800s and just like climbing a mountain where on average, every step along the path is higher than you were before, you can expect that during a warm-up, the last three decades will probably be warmer ones preceding. And the sun will rise in the east and Franco is still dead.

  6. I was enjoying a Easter Sunday afternoon. The wind speed increased and the ski became dark as if was going to rain. I picked up all items that may be effected by water and went inside my house. There was a
    light shower and afterwards I saw the sun return and I went out doors to enjoy the remaining sunlight until it got dark. I did not use any special tools,computers nor radio to listen to the BBC or NPR. I must be a Neanderthal.

  7. Alternative reality. When, pray tell, did climate modeling deal directly with clouds rather than supplying them arbitrarily? GCM’s enable the prediction of the ENSO cycle?

      • The southern oscillation index is what will always predict ENSO. When pressures rise west of OZ and drop east of Fiji the trade winds slow and warm water comes to the surface.

      • It is my understanding that the models predicted a 2014 El Nino.

        No, they didn’t. They predicted a super El Nino to beat 1998, and they were off on the timing and the concentration, and when. It was a stab in the dark, and Bastardi had it right before it happened, and why.

  8. Anthony,
    The front end is credited to JULIO SLINGO but the first sentence saye JULIA SLINGO
    Julia or Julio?

  9. I lost interest at the end of the third paragraph.
    “…one of the defining problems of the 21st century.”

    At least Julio admits that science is never done and there is more to learn.

  10. He lost me when the “acidification of the oceans” was brought up….and “carbon in the atmosphere” was another one. I thought it’s a colorless, odorless, invisible trace gas, yet he calls it “Carbon”
    Sounds nastier I guess.
    Just looked outside my window looking for some of that Carbon, I did not see any.
    He sounds like a man who’s bread was buttered by a life-long career at the Met Office….why swim against the tide if you don’t have to? Exactly. The good news: he’s a not extreme, if that’s worth something.

    • Oops, “he” is a “she”. Confused with the Julio, who would have been a man

  11. Or you can simply refer to the most recent IPCC report, AR5, from 2013:

    “In summary, there is low confidence in observed trends in small-scale severe weather phenomena such as hail and thunderstorms because of historical data inhomogeneities and inadequacies in monitoring systems.” (Chapter 2, p. 216)

    “In summary, this assessment does not revise the SREX conclusion of low confidence that any reported long-term (centennial) increases in tropical cyclone activity are robust, after accounting for past changes in observing capabilities. More recent assessments indicate that it is unlikely that annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes counts have increased over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin.” (Chapter 2, p.217)

    https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter02_FINAL.pdf

    It’s always fun to use the Bible of climate change–the IPCC reports–to invalidate the claims of the Climatistas.

    • Too true.

      AND they state that any effects of Climate Change ™ will be completely mitigated by changes in society and technology.

      My take on it is:

      1. The IPCC reports are essentially cherry-picked from articles that support their preconceptions, and thus exaggerations of the actual science out there.

      2. The IPCC Summaries for Policymakers (released well before the actual report) are hugely misleading scare mongering exaggerations of the report itself.

      3. Most ‘Climate Scientists’ deliver hugely misleading scare mongering exaggerations of the IPCC Summary for Policymakers.

      4. The MSM articles are a hugely misleading scare mongering exaggeration of whatever ‘Climate Scientists’ have reported.

      5. Trough-feeding ‘charity’ organisations exaggerate the MSM articles.

      6. The IPCC feed off these articles, and so the cycle completes….

  12. Can you imagine the crap storm that took place when people stopped believing that priests and shamans controlled the weather. But, but, but with more offerings we are getting better and better.

    Really a disgusting bunch of con artists playing demigod. The Weather presenter as megalomaniac.

  13. The fundamental belief in the utility of computer models for long term predictions in a deeply nonlinear system with ill-understood feedback parameters and evanescently sparse input data subject to constant revision is quite astonishing. It takes a special kind of religious fervour to maintain such a belief system and continue to maintain it in the face of very obvious endless failure. It seems likely that Douglas Adams styled his conception of the electric monk on people like this.

    • Exactly.
      And Dr. Christopher Essex (mathematician) demonstrates how climate models can NEVER be correct, even given much more powerful computers on which to run them. The faster and more powerful the computer, the faster you get the bad results – think MET office. Things like calculation residual error, machine epsilon, and computer parameterization, among others climate computer modeling constraints prevent it (correct model results) from ever happening.
      See his presentation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19q1i-wAUpY

  14. “Clouds forming in a blue sky, and the wind blowing so often from the west

    — it was not immediately obvious why that should be, and I was intrigued. (I learnt later that the UK lies right in the path of the jet stream, a band of westerly winds that circles the mid-latitudes”

    Wow. this is either brutal ignorance of something my students need to know, or she cannot write clearly enough to be competent in a management position.

    This statement seems to imply that the clouds in question are in the jet stream – which they are not. These clouds are typically at 2-5000 feet above the ground, the jet stream tends to start somewhere around 25,000 feet at mid latitudes. Clouds normally associated with jet streams are cirrus (mares’ tails, thin whispy clouds that warn of rain).

    Our prevailing winds come from the west. That is due to surface pressure patterns and “westerly wave”, a sequence of frontal systems passing at our latitudes. Those fronts are indeed associated with jet streams, because jet streams are caused by temperature differentials and fronts involve rapid temperature changes. But saying the cloud movement is due to the jet stream is like a police officer, after giving a field sobriety test, saying a crashed his car because he slurs his words. The crash and the slurring, like the low-level westerlies share the same cause. The former are caused by the alcohol, the latter by temperature differentials, but the jet stream does not cause low-level clouds to move eastward any more than slurring words causes a car crash.

    • LMFAO – Nothing like a good dress-down of a moronic remark. I simply didn’t think about it as anything more than some stupid fluff about her “inspiration,” (read: I wasn’t really thinking about what she said in that quote) but you expose its odor so much more entertainingly and informatively.

  15. from the article: [It has only been through simulating what the world would have been like without greenhouse gas emissions that we can say with confidence that humans have been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.]

    We can’t say with confidence that ‘humans have been the dominant cause of the observed warming’ without a contrived human-centric simulation? Is that an admission that there has been no actual observations that lead us to the same conclusion? That conclusion is based ‘only through simulation’.

    Also, I’ve asked for anyone to show the actual temperature curve for one single day at some given location (Denver for example), and then show the same curve after subtracting out the ‘warming’ caused by Carbon Dioxide. Now they’re claiming that they can simulate this, so I’d like to see it. What part of the day is this heat trapped and how much is there?

    • We can’t tell you what the climate will be like when CO2 levels reach 500ppm.
      However we can tell you with great confidence what changes going from 300 to 400ppm were.

      They are all delusional.

    • That struck me as well. She is saying that there is no direct evidence. The whole idea is based on the models, and that makes the assumption that the models are accurate representations of the climate system. If they are not, the idea is unfounded.

      • AND the models ARE NOT accurate representations of the climate system; so the idea IS unfounded.

        Maybe that’s her “back door” for “walking back” on her alarmist claptrap in the future. She can claim to have been telling us that the whole thing was bunk in CODE! LMAO

  16. She is paid to study and anticipate the weather. Many other factors are needed to enable socio economic decision making yet she wants to do just that:

    “This will require the integration of the physical simulation of weather and climate with areas such as advanced modelling of the built environment; quantification of the value of natural capital and ecosystem services; understanding of human dynamics; modelling of ecological systems; and new approaches to modelling financial and socioeconomic impact.”

    Her article is just self aggrandisement.

    Why do so many petty tyrants emanate from the taxpayer funded public sector ?

    • Stephen

      Your Q: Why do so many petty tyrants emanate from the taxpayer funded public sector ?

      A: This is easy. There are several beautiful effects of being public sector funded:

      1) Competition for being accurate (as opposed to politically correct) is not, shall we say, intense
      2) There are little or no consequences for being wrong (reality is suspended)
      3) The true funding source (taxpayers) has absolutely zero say in what gets funded – it’s all OPM
      5) The administrators actually funding you have no idea what you are doing
      5) If you’ve never been told you are wrong, you might easily conclude you are gifted
      6) Gifted people (especially gifted weak people) sometimes react strongly if “the great unwashed” refuses their guidance

      • Petty tyrant? Wtf are you guys smoking?
        Oh I get it. Your worried she might actually know a bit more about the atmosphere than you.

      • There’s also the messiah complex where people who’s only reason for living is to save the unwashed masses tend to migrate to positions where the unwashed masses have no say in whether they get saved or not.

      • tony, normally I would request that you provide evidence that Julia actually knows what she is talking about.
        But we both know that you aren’t capable of that.

      • It’s not what we’ve been smoking, Tony, it’s what the model makers were getting off on. Then again, can you rationalise the point mentioned above: If weather makes for climate, how can climate make weather?

    • Because when you are lavishly saturated with endless supplies of Other People’s Money, megalomania usually sets in.

  17. Thought for while the article might be a rollout of new 2017 models in the globalist’s showroom (FT). Not sure what to make of it. Sounded well-done but canned. A subtle sales pitch. Don’t think Oz is going to scrap their climate catastrophe goose, though..

  18. Julia Slingo: “I liked meteorology…”.
    Too bad she didn’t stick with that. Instead she wandered off into the weeds of “climate change”. More’s the pity.

  19. She still believes that CO2 is responsible for most of the warming and they depend on that in their models. I really do not need to read any more. Over and out.

    • As one young warmist told me. They don’t know what caused the Holocene Optimum, the Minoan Warm period, the Roman Warm period, the Medieval warm period or the Little Ice Age.
      However they know for a fact that the current warming is caused by CO2, because that’s what the models say.

      • Nor the even greater warmth of the Eemian Interglacial, without benefit of a Neanderthal industrial age.

      • It’s also totally lost on the Eco-Fascists and their sheep-like followers that they call the warmest period in the Holocene the “Holocene Climate OPTIMUM.” As in, this is the BEST climate, NOT the worst, which is what the “prophet of doom” climate models would have you believe.

  20. Modeling the stock market is simpler than modelling climate. Much simpler. The Met Office simply needs to predict the stock market 1 day in the future to know what stocks to buy and sell, and thereby raise all the money required to pay for the most powerful super-computers in the world.

    However, the Met Office every year goes to the government cap in hand and begs for money from the taxpayers. And the reason is simple; time series data such as the Stock Market and Climate cannot be accurately predicted from first principles beyond a very short time horizon.

    And even then you cannot get a straight answer. The very best the Met Office can tell us is that tomorrow there is a 30% chance of rain. This doesn’t tell us it will rain, it doesn’t tell us if it won’t rain, simply that there is a chance. And so, if it rains, or it doesn’t rain, the Met Office can claim that the forecast was correct. And when the Met Office tells you it will be a BBQ summer, prepare for a wet, cold summer.

    • Often 30% chance does not mean that there is a 30% chance of rain but rather that 30% of the viewing area will see rain. Which 30% they cannot predict this far in advance.

  21. ‘No definitive answer’ is a posh-sounding way of actually saying ‘AGW theory hasn’t demonstrated any measurable or definitive connection to weather events at all’. You can be assured that IF there was ANY connection they’d be hollering from the rooftops about it. They aren’t because there isn’t. So after 30 years and untold $billions AGW hasn’t moved further forward one single inch in terms of PROOF. If that’s not a huge fail, then what is it?

  22. I recall an interview she gave on the BBC, getting misty eyed when talking about the search for the “anthropogenic” signal, indicating that she was a True Believer rather than a true scientist, whose attitude would have been: I’m not going to believe it until it can be clearly seen.

    • And how revealing that is – that they are “searching for” an “anthropogenic signal.” Since the Null Hypothesis is that ALL “climate change” is NATURAL, like it has been for oh, about 4.5 BILLION YEARS, why would they be “searching for” an “anthropogenic signal” unless they STARTED with their CONCLUSION, and are working their way backwards in the search for supporting “evidence.”

      This is not how real science is done – this is how political agendas are pursued.

  23. Julia, like so many of her cohorts confuses and conflates weather with climate. That is how they become ideologists instead of scientists.

  24. and new approaches to modelling financial and socioeconomic impact.
    =================
    how about a new approach to modelling climate? No one can tell you what the economy will be doing in 5 years let alone 50. There is zero evidence that climate is easier to predict. Quite simply we do not have the mathematics to model the future, except for very simple physical systems.

    Once this is understood, that you cannot directly calculate the future for complex systems, then the modelling of climate from first principles becomes a waste of money. What we should be doing is looking at how we have successfully modeled other chaotic systems such as the earth’s tides, and applying the lessons learned to climate modelling.

  25. Weather is it the cause or the effect of climate change.?
    No one weather event can be linked to climate change, but longer term changes to the weather can certainly have the power to change it.
    For instance what if a change in the weather allowed the landmass of North America to become the centre of NH cooling rather then the high Arctic. What effect would that have on the climate.?
    lf you don’t think such a change can happen. Well the LGM begs to differ.

  26. Julia, the Slinger, Slingo says: “We are more confident than ever that humans have been the dominant cause of the rise in temperatures since the ’50s”.

    What, pray tell, better than senescence, can give her ‘increasing confidence’? I know that sounds harsh, but I believe I’m being charitable.

    Maybe ‘terminally stuck in her ways’ is a little better than ‘senescence’.
    =============

  27. “During my time as chief scientist we were able to implement a new forecasting system based on a model that works at the scale of our local weather. ”

    Arrogant git soaked in hubris.

    Will it rain three weeks from now? What? I cannot hear you.

  28. Heavens, they cannot forecast with any degree of accuracy the weather a week or two ahead. All that computing power is wasted – because they base their work on a false premise

    • No worries, they’ll keep at it predicting those really hot summers until you by coincidence actually happen to get one, then they’ll insist their “accurate prediction” (as in, as accurate as a clock that isn’t running, twice a day when it happens to indicate the correct time) is indicative of the newest “improvements to the models” which are now ever so much more accurate, and that you can now expect their predictions of evah hotter weather will now actually occur, just like the model says.

  29. The North Atlantic is the place of interest over the coming days for insight in to how the weather could effect climate. There is a large split been formed in the jet stream with a huge block in the northern Atlantic and low pressure over northern europe. Bringing a colder air flow down across much of europe.
    But this split is also forcing colder air from Canada and areas of low pressure into the mid Atlantic and stopping the Azores high from forming as normal. Now with luck this large change in the jet stream will last into the next two weeks. Long enough maybe to see what effect it has if any on the northern Atlantic itself.

    • Of equal interest are the changes in the North Pacific. The Blob and ridiculously resilient ridge that ostensibly gave California a drought has disappeared. Now there is a pool of cool water and the left coast has had record precipitation. Maybe when we get a handle on major ocean changes we can gain some understanding of longer term weather/climate. The models do not have a handle on the oceans.

      • Nor do we have a handle on what drives the ocean cycles, but I’m betting it’s not “random” or “internal,” which is the sciencey way of saying “We haven’t got a $%^&ing clue.”

  30. Was Slingo a theoretical physicist?
    Her opening paragraphs seem to indicate very little practical knowledge of physics and its application to weather systems. On the other hand her adoration of computers (the bigger the better) and belief that a program was equivalent to reality is amazing.

    • Not theoretical, classical physics and practical experience on the properties of potty putty (WTF!), well that’s what her citation said for the honorary PhD. So BSc Physics earned, PhD freeby for University kudos.

      My thirst for knowledge is awakened – now I want to know more about potty putty !

      • It’s amazing, isn’t it, toorightmante? I mean the ease, when taking over the management of an existing technical organizational unit (including a whole company), of identifying the people who add no value to the goals of the entity. Many even work hard producing that meaningless or even harmful stuff. Engineers and scientists are the worst offenders.

  31. Imagine a group of hunter gatherers who having left their inland home for some reason made it to the coast and saw the sea for the first time. As it happens it was not long after low tide and as they spread out to explore the shoreline someone notices that the sea level seems to be rising. The shamans spring into action casting spells and explaining that someone must have committed some grave sin against a local spirit or even against the grete spirit(s). Then the rate of rise slows down and eventually stops and the shamans are proven to be the powerful people they always claimed to be. The next day the tide falls and rises and repeats its cycle but no matter, the shamans now have control of the people and claim control of the sea. Gosh fortune can be kind to some and after 37 years of controlling the sea a shaman will be a very, very important and privileged person.

  32. Her retirement might allow someone a little more skeptical to fill her office. IIRC, the Met Office has badly flubbed some summer and winter seasonal forecasts in recent years.

  33. [But more than that, for scientists like myself, these models are our laboratories. With them we can find out why our climate varies, and why it now seems to be changing.]

    So is she saying before models there was no climate change?

  34. Slingo, bingo…who cares. WUWT and friends, as far as I can tell, according to some within the MSM and academia, we’re nothing more than a very small collective voice of right wing deluded folk who deny climate science.

    I’m simply amazed that so many don’t understand the very simple fact CO2, a radiatively active dipole molecule, does not trap heat, it actually convects it (think hot air rising), it is largely IR resonant at an amplitude of 15 microns for which the corresponding temperature is really cold, way up high, nowhere near the surface.

    So what does a slight ppm CO2 increase (think 1.2 molecules per 10,000) mean in regards to surface temps?….how about uncertainty, like nobody has a clue, Yes? No?. Am I being unreasonable?

    So they hypothesize, suppose, guess, imagine, fear, whatever…an outcome. They are actually worried we, if we don’t stop using fossil fuels, will drown the coasts and turn the world into stormy deserts surrounded by oceans of acid.

    And they all think Trump is stupid…..this is theatre. As always, we live in interesting times.

  35. Julia,
    Enjoy your retirement.
    Aside from what a Christian’s “retirement” actually entails in the long term, the short term will not include the Man made “Doom and Gloom” you preached that had nothing to do with Man’s real pending doom or the way to one’s potential rescue/redemption.
    Even that was nailed to the cross.

  36. Geology

    We turn now to what are called earth sciences, or geology. First, meteorology and the weather. Of course the instruments of meteorology are physical instruments, and the development of experimental physics made these instruments possible, as was explained before. However, the theory of meteorology has never been satisfactorily worked out by the physicist. “Well,” you say, “there is nothing but air, and we know the equations of the motions of air.” Yes we do. “So if we know the condition of air today, why can’t we figure out the condition of the air tomorrow?” First, we do not really know what the condition is today, because the air is swirling and twisting everywhere. It turns out to be very sensitive, and even unstable. If you have ever seen water run smoothly over a dam, and then turn into a large number of blobs and drops as it falls, you will understand what I mean by unstable. You know the condition of the water before it goes over the spillway; it is perfectly smooth; but the moment it begins to fall, where do the drops begin? What determines how big the lumps are going to be and where they will be? That is not known, because the water is unstable. Even a smooth moving mass of air, in going over a mountain turns into complex whirlpools and eddies. In many fields we find this situation of turbulent flow that we cannot analyze today. Quickly we leave the subject of weather, and discuss geology!
    The question basic to geology is, what makes the earth the way it is? The most obvious processes are in front of your very eyes, the erosion processes of the rivers, the winds, etc. It is easy enough to understand these, but for every bit of erosion there is an equal amount of something else going on. Mountains are no lower today, on the average, than they were in the past. There must be mountain-forming processes. You will find, if you study geology, that there are mountain-forming processes and volcanism, which nobody understands but which is half of geology. The phenomenon of volcanoes is really not understood. What makes an earthquake is, ultimately, not understood. It is understood that if something is pushing something else, it snaps and will slide—that is all right. But what pushes, and why? The theory is that there are currents inside the earth—circulating currents, due to the difference in temperature inside and outside—which, in their motion, push the surface slightly. Thus if there are two opposite circulations next to each other, the matter will collect in the region where they meet and make belts of mountains which are in unhappy stressed conditions, and so produce volcanoes and earthquakes.
    What about the inside of the earth? A great deal is known about the speed of earthquake waves through the earth and the density of distribution of the earth. However, physicists have been unable to get a good theory as to how dense a substance should be at the pressures that would be expected at the center of the earth. In other words, we cannot figure out the properties of matter very well in these circumstances. We do much less well with the earth than we do with the conditions of matter in the stars. The mathematics involved seems a little too difficult, so far, but perhaps it will not be too long before someone realizes that it is an important problem, and really works it out. The other aspect, of course, is that even if we did know the density, we cannot figure out the circulating currents. Nor can we really work out the properties of rocks at high pressure. We cannot tell how fast the rocks should “give”; that must all be worked out by experiment.

    http://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/I_03.html

    big government = big money=big lies =big thieves

  37. “What did you do at work today dear?”

    “Oh, I just looked out the window and saw Physics in action.”

  38. Others have commented on the astonishing hubris displayed by Dame Julia. I’m interested in her claim to be a scientist, especially if her laboratory is in the climate models. I wonder if she ever figured out that the output of the models will be exactly determined by their code and input data.

    At any rate, my attention was caught earlier by her comment on the Coriolis effect “The jet stream arises from the rotation of the Earth — the Coriolis Force”.

    It is this she says is responsible for the prevailing westerlies in the UK. First is that the Coriolis effect bends the winds depending on whether they are moving to the pole or away from it. Second it should produce the opposite effect in the southern hemisphere, but Tasmania enjoys prevailing westerlies as well (the old water down the plughole thing)

    Or has my recollection of geophysical fluid dynamics faded over the last 40 years?

  39. “Self delusion” indeed!

    The failed notion “Gaia” or as later-day “Earth System” on display. Earth System is just another example of delusion and failed by evidence!

    “Gaia” and “Earth System” and “Climate Change” and “Anthropogenic Climate Change” and “Carbon Anthropogenic Climate Change” are just examples of delusion, Pathological Science!

    Google ‘Pathological Science’ please.

    We are in the run-up to the Great 22 April Event of the Year: The March For (the Money From) Pathological Science.

    “Look at us we’re walking … Look at us we’re talking … walking talking For Money Ever More … Ta Da Da Ta DA! We’re Happy and we’re Laughing … Laughing to be Banking … Banking More And More And More And More! Ta Da Da Ta DA!”

    Jajajajajajajajaja

  40. “While no extreme weather or climate event can be attributed solely to climate change, after the terrible damage of the 2013-14 winter storms and again the flooding in 2015-16, people inevitably and rightly ask: is this climate change?”

    I bet Julia gets a special little thrill when that happens, since it means she’s successfully played her part in keeping the general public ignorant and gullible . .

    • Much of the 2013/14 damage and exceptional flooding was because the eco-activists in the Environment Agency and Natural England had stopped dredging rivers to enable more flooded wetlands to appear … it did at massive cost to both people and wildlife. Homes flooded, urgent evacuations of livestock from farms and the drowning of many species that wetlands were meant to encourage.

      It had nothing to do with so-called climate change and everything to do with idiotic enviro-activism in government agencies. Shame Julia Sligo doesn’t wish to recognise what her fellow activists achieved.

      • That’s the unfortunate reality – the Eco-Fascist activists generally cause more damage than good.

  41. When the observations run along the centre of the model outputs and the error bars are way smaller than now, and for at least 2 of the shorter climate cycles (i.e. at least 60 years), then we might, just might start paying them some attention. Until then…

  42. When the observations run along the centre of the model outputs and the error bars are way smaller than now, and have run for at least 2 of the shorter climate cycles (i.e. at least 60 years), then we might, just might start paying them some attention. Until then… the models are pure fantasy, and costing (wasting) society trillions, for zero benefit.

  43. On `see this` by Richards Courtney: Do not blame Mrs Thatcher. It was her `adviser` Crispin Tickell.

    • Quite right,Dave. But Richard has a furrow to plough – and it veers to the left. Other than that he is a very readable commenter.

  44. Julia Slingo states that the Met Office can now forecast ‘years’ ahead….
    Oh, come off it – five days is still a stretch for them….!

  45. So many experts opinions here expressed with such confident vehemence. So many must have spent decades studying the physics of meteorology, astonishing.

    • “tony mcleod April 18, 2017 at 5:14 am

      So many must have spent decades studying the physics…”

      I did. Did you Tony?

  46. Ah yes, the UK Met Office – that’s the one that lost its BBC weather forecasting contract because it was routinely so inaccurate ….. predictions of a ‘barbecue summer’ confounded by one of the wettest summers in years … and as Julia Slingo so proudly misclaims that based on the Met Office’s short term forecasting accuracy (Not) you can have faith in their century ahead climate predictions !!

    Its the script for a comedy show – except the self-delusion she shows is actually quite sad and rather tragic.

    • The Met Office lost it’s TV contract not because of inaccuracy, but because they do not have a commercial bone in their collective body. They lost most of the UK county council road ice and UK transport contracts because they had no idea how to deal with commercial rivals.

      Having worked in the UK Met Office as a forecaster, I can tell you that it is a classic public service govt organisation where there are proceedures that must be followed no matter what. If you don’t follow these you are reprimanded or considered a troublemaker. Trying to suggest or implement change is like wading through treacle and not encouraged. This is why they struggle to come up with innovative ideas and lose bidded contracts.

      There are lots of good things that come out of the UK Met Office though. Their global model is very good as is some of the Met research. The National Hurricane Centre routinely uses the UK Met Office model over their own models because it is much better at forecasting Hurricanes.

  47. “Arctic sea ice extent has declined by 3 per cent every decade since records began in 1979”

    I liked this part for a good laugh.

    I wonder what Julia would say if someone told her we actually have records of arctic sea ice that go back before 1979. For example, 1972 had less arctic sea ice than 2016. So arctic sea ice actually increased from 1972 to 1979, and then it declined, but still hasn’t declined as much as 1972. How about that, Griff?

  48. Models are laboratories?!

    Only in our dreams.

    Lets’ build more models that forecast a fantasy world for which we can allot huge sums of money to fund the futile attempts to engineer into a false reality. Hey, it creates jobs, I guess, … just like the motion picture industry.

    Nothing quashes the impact of an authoritative career recap like an authoritative delusion.

  49. This character has more misconceptions and false information than Obama. It’s disappointing to know that such an uninformed person would ever rise (?) to the level of chief scientist in the Met office.

  50. Very interesting view of her career, in her own words;
    “Good enough for government”.
    Indeed she had a “successful” government career, good thing for her, tough luck for the taxpayers.

  51. “after the terrible damage of the 2013-14 winter storms and again the flooding in 2015-16, people inevitably and rightly ask: is this climate change? There is as yet no “definitive answer” to this question, partly due to the highly variable nature of the UK’s climate (ie our “British weather”), but the evidence we do have, such as increasingly heavy daily rainfall and rising sea levels, suggests that the risks of serious flooding and coastal inundation are growing with climate change.”

    Sure, but that’s been true for thousands of years, really since the last glacial maximum about 25K years ago. That’s the big disconnect in policy — there’s almost no real evidence to support the notion that the emissions control agenda will actually have positive ROI.

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