Why The Weather Doomsayers Need To Take A Raincheck

Recent UK climate trends offer absolutely no support for outlandish forecasts, which are of course the product of those computer models we hear so much about.

by Paul Homewood

How often do we hear claims that British weather is getting more extreme? Whether it’s heatwaves, droughts, rain or storms, it’s always ‘worse than it used to be’. We even had David Cameron saying that the winter floods of 2014 were linked to climate change. And it is not just laymen who make claims like these, but climate scientists. It does not help, of course, that we tend to have selective memories about the past.

However a new study by the Global Warming Policy Foundation has closely examined official Met Office data and found that such claims are baseless. In reality, apart from the fact that it is slightly warmer than a century ago, the UK climate has changed remarkably little during that time.

In particular, the report – Defra Versus Met Office: Fact-checking the State of the UK Climate  – finds that:

  • Heatwaves have been much less intense in the last decade than before, with no summer comparable to the heat of 1976 since then. (See Fig 1)
  • There has been a marked reduction in the number of extremely cold days in the last three decades.
  • Apart from Scotland, where rainfall has been increasing in recent years, there has been little long-term trend in precipitation. (See Fig 2)
  • In particular, winters are no wetter than they used to be in England and Wales, and summers no drier, contrary to popular myth.
  • Rainfall has also not become more extreme. The wettest year since records started in 1766 was 1872, followed by 1768. The wettest decade was the 1870s, and the wettest month was October 1903.
  • Droughts are also not becoming more common or severe.

 

Figure 1: Distribution of extreme temperatures in Central England Temperature Record

(a) days over 30C; (b) days under -10C

Fig 2 : Long Term Precipitation Record for England & Wales

In recent years the Met Office has taken great delight in naming all storms, although most of these have not technically reached storm force. In reality, as their own figures show, storms have not got any worse in the last four decades.

And despite misinformation to the contrary, sea levels around our coasts are rising only very slowly, and at a similar rate to the early 20th century.

What about temperatures? The data shows that there was a steady rise during the 1990s and early 2000s, but that this rise has since petered out and average temperatures levelled off. There was a very similar increase in temperatures in the early 18th century.

Even this summer was not a record-breaker. According to the long-running Central England Temperature series, it was only the fifth-warmest, and not even as hot as the summer of 1826.

The British climate has always been notable for its volatility, with big swings in weather from week to week, month to month, and year to year. This variability swamps whatever underlying trends there may be. But what we do know is that whatever weather we get now, we have had in the past.

Full story here

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67 thoughts on “Why The Weather Doomsayers Need To Take A Raincheck

  1. UK politicians have issued a report saying that the sea level around Britain will rise by 1 metre in the next 80 years. A huge and sudden acceleration.

    Surprisingly coastal homes with a sea view are not selling at knockdown prices.

    The BBC fell for it though.

  2. So, the only significant change is “There has been a marked reduction in the number of extremely cold days in the last three decades.” How are we going to cope?

  3. … but also raising – Roman remains are about 20 foot below current ground level. We add ground at a rate faster than it sinks.

    • Since we introduced rubbish removal, stopped having ash in fireplaces and piped the sewerage away the rate of urban land growth has declined dramatically.

  4. It is almost universally recognised in the UK that we’ve just had a good summer.
    How do the doomsters respond? With articles claiming that as a result, the price of carrots may have to rise.
    I am not joking.

  5. Being that the UK is prominently placed in the Gulf Stream at a latitude which, without it, would see us enduring Siberian weather, it would seem to suggest a major climate shift along the US east coast might be amplified by the time it reaches our shores.

    Instead, the whole country is relatively benign with no dramatic weather or climate swings. Paul seems to suggest underlying trends might be masked by our fortunate placement in which case, what is the basis for our politicians hysterical scaremongering?

    • “what is the basis for our politicians hysterical scaremongering?”

      Desperate, naïve solutions to national debt crisis; a seat on the green gravy train heading to lands awash with plundered wealth and power (Brussels / boards of renewables / green consultancy / ‘advisory’ organisations and companies); the smell of vast amounts of money from banks and carbon trading organisations with wealth and influence; feelings of moral superiority and a need to belong to a social set where perceived moral superiority confers status; hubris in the chance to ‘make a mark’ for want of any original ideas; pandering to a fashionably misanthropic youth vote; pandering to a misanthropic and manipulative mass media projecting the fear of its own demise; pandering to a section of the left who see fear, chaos, poverty and division as a means to power; a feeling of belonging to a powerful clique with the means to reorganise society; a fear of intimidation from small numbers of activists and lazy complicit journalists; fear of being branded ‘deniers’ with all the associated connotations; free luxury holidays in exclusive resorts reserved for the green blob; tendency in uncertainty to follow the herd; hubristic association with ‘science’ and ‘scientists’ without the actual need for thought, research or learning; gullibility that comes from ideology trumping real world experience; lots and lots of free money (thought that needed saying twice), and probably many more factors..

  6. But what we do know is that whatever weather we get now, we have had in the past.

    How about …

    But what we do know is that whatever weather we get now, we have had worse in the past.

  7. I’m sure you will all be devastated but “Note: this will be our final entry on Climate Consensus – the 97%. The Guardian has decided to discontinue its Science and Environment blogging networks. We would like to thank this great paper for hosting us over the past five years, and to our readers for making it a worthwhile and rewarding endeavor.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/oct/26/canada-passed-a-carbon-tax-that-will-give-most-canadians-more-money

    • That’s pretty funny, even by Guardian standards:

      By rebating the revenue to households, disposable income rises, which can be a boon for the Canadian economy
      Dana Nuccitelli

      Yes, he is claiming that you can make people better off by taxing them and then giving some of it back to them (no mention of the costs of the bureaucracy taking their cut).

    • That is big news. Even the Guardian has realised they backed the wrong horse.

      It was only this month that the IPCC released their latest doom-laden junk science pamphlet and the whole world ignored it.
      And the Guardian has already started backing away.

      We Sceptics have won the debate.

      • For many years I posted on the Guardian. The 97% blog started deleting my comments (usually when I quoted the IPCC or just put a logical argument) in order to make me look foolish.

        I quit posting there when they started deleting parts of my comments so as the comment looked unjustified and irrational. It made me into a liar. Although what I had said was not what they were broadcasting me as saying. The 97% bloggers are very dishonest.

        Still, just for old times sake I have posted again on their farewell post. Mainly to gloat, ungraciously.
        I’ll be deleted, of course, but they will know once again that I was right.

        [This is why we always indicate “snip” if we’re removing something offensive or out of bounds per site policy. And, as a best practice, I usually try to indicate what the offense was so it can be avoided in the future, and so other commenters know I’m not trying change what the commenter said/meant. -mod]

        • M Courtney

          I read your comment over at the Guardian. The person you replied to is a Guardian and Skeptical Science writer and a Sci-Fi author (usually novels about an apocalyptic world destroyed by AGW). He freely uses the term “denier” yet expects to be taken seriously by AGW sceptics and the casual reader.

          Unfortunately, (or maybe fortunately) I no longer post at the Guardian, having no appetite to do so after being banned for the fifth time.

          • I had to appeal repeatedly to get my posting rights restored before I gave up on the Environment part of the website.
            It’s not the whole website that is corrupt.

          • I too am delighted, if it turns out to be true.

            But my suspicion is that you will still find a plethora of articles blaming global warming for all the world’s ills at every turn.

            I used to regularly buy The Guardian, years ago. I knew there were plenty of crazy sections such as Guardian Femail that were not aimed at me, but their bigotry generally didn’t leak out into the other sections. That no longer seems to be the case in much of the legacy media.

        • Your comment at the Guardian has finally been deleted and replaced with one from some non-partisan guy called Dana Nuccitelli. It’s one of those SkS moments. %^D

  8. Most of the heatwaves and cold extremes would not even exist without short term changes in the solar wind.

  9. One thing that has really happened to UK climate is that we don’t have london fog any more.

    One thing they are not telling us about coastal erosion is that the policy is to NOT defend the eastern coastline from the erosion which is continuous and nothing to do with sea level rise.

  10. One thing that has really happened to UK climate is that we don’t have london fog any more.

    Yup sulphur dioxide is a REAL pollutant that affects the weather.

    One thing they are not telling us about coastal erosion is that the policy is to NOT defend the eastern coastline from the erosion which is continuous and nothing to do with sea level rise.

    Indeed, and if you know that coast well, its a waste of time.

    Suffolk and Norfolk are all sand there. It just washes away largely.

  11. “The British climate has always been notable for its volatility, with big swings in weather from week to week, month to month, and year to year. ”

    As a resident of the U.S. midwest, ( Regional motto: Dress in layers) I find that statement amusing.

    • I know what you mean Tom. The British view of weather is incredibly parochial by many standards.

      The only time I found something similar was when I lived in Seattle, which actually has fairly similar weather to much of the UK, but usually feels somewhat milder.

      I would only really claim that the UK weather affords the observer a greater variety of dynamic cloudscapes than many other places in the world. Of course, some people don’t always think that is good. (How I laughed at the other students from back East when they were talking about slitting their wrists due to the lowering skies in December Seattle, which was feeling quite spring-like to me.)

  12. Global Warming Policy Foundation is a known climate denial organization. Your arguments would be more credible if you cite a neutral source. This article is like citing the Flat Earth Society to rebut claims that just because the moon, sun, and other planets are observably round that Earth is flat (BTW, where can I buy edge real estate? The views must be spectacular!)

    • Chris. You really must be stupid. The data came from The UK Met Office. So according to you because the GWPF repeat it, that data somehow becomes invalid does it?

      • “you must be stupid” – what a nice, constructive way to start a debate!

        no offense taken. I have a PhD in Risk Analysis (Carnegie Mellon University), and have done predictive modeling for 30+ years, but its mainly in battlefield simulation and such, and I admit to being a non expert.

        compared to you, obviously. where did you get your degrees? where did you get your data? (your own satellite perhaps?)

        kidding! (no really, as we’re speaking to credible opinions)

        the US government, in a recent ruling freezing CAFE standards (fuel efficiency) predicts that by 2100 global average temperature will increase by at least 3.9C. Unless I’m missing something in the UK report, that’s way more than what they claim will cause havoc. so we’re (ok, our grandchildren) are fucked anyway.

        🙂

  13. “Global Warming Policy Foundation is a known climate denial organization. ” By whom? Skeptical Science? Real Climate? Desmogblog? The Guardian? Reddit? HotWhopper? Grist? The Pope?

    “Your arguments would be more credible if you cite a neutral source.” What? Like the Met Office, for instance?

    • I don’t know where you got your degree in climate modeling (my PhD is in Risk Analysis from Carnegie Mellon University, but focused on the more violent aspects of national security :-}), or where you got your database from which your model comes to a different conclusion than the UK modelers. But I do know that the US government, in their recent decision to freeze increases in automobile fuel economy standards, estimated that by 2100 global temperatures will have increased by 7 degrees F (3.9 C – well above the “outlandish’ predictions). So we are all fucked in any case (well, in my case, my grandchildren), so the quibbling is moot, eh?

      • But I do know that the US government, in their recent decision to freeze increases in automobile fuel economy standards, estimated that by 2100 global temperatures will have increased by 7 degrees F”

        The “7 degrees” forecast was an idiotic thing to have put in a report which would have been more valid if it would have been based on the reading of tarot cards or chicken entrails. All it really tells us is how many rabid political opponents remain embedded in the bureacraucy, willing to take every chance they get to do stupid things that they think and hope will have a poltical impact. It’s also a lesson that even 2 years in, the people at the top of the Trump administration still haven’t gained complete control over their own agencies, and there are plenty of rogues inside them ready, willing, and able to commit political sabotage.

        Now as to what this forecast tells us about the actual “science” – it tells us nothing at all. It’s just an in-kind contribution to the political left.

  14. Maybe Mr. Gore should consider relocating to the UK.
    With such variable weather (er, in Gorespeak that’s extreme climate), some days you can have 2-4 season’s worth of weather (er …climate?) in a single day. Plus there is the pit of green vipers at UEA’s Climatic Research Hysteria Unit, The Met Office Hadley Unbelievable Forecasting and Data Negligence Centre, the Grantham Research Institute Climate Propadanda Unit, the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and Fake News, and so many, many, more green leaching groups for him to enjoy. The BBC would probably give him his own TV show ‘Strictly Come Bake-up some Celebrity Anthropogenic Warming’ or some-such.

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