Met Office in the Media: 29 January 2012

Today the Mail on Sunday published a story written by David Rose entitled “Forget global warming – it’s Cycle 25 we need to worry about”.

This article includes numerous errors in the reporting of published peer reviewed science undertaken by the Met Office Hadley Centre and for Mr. Rose to suggest that the latest global temperatures available show no warming in the last 15 years is entirely misleading.

Despite the Met Office having spoken to David Rose ahead of the publication of the story, he has chosen to not fully include the answers we gave him to questions around decadal projections produced by the Met Office or his belief that we have seen no warming since 1997.

For clarity I have included our full response to David Rose below:A spokesman for the Met Office said: “The ten year projection remains groundbreaking science. The complete period for the original projection is not over yet and these projections are regularly updated to take account of the most recent data.

“The projections are probabilistic in nature, and no individual forecast should be taken in isolation. Instead, several decades of data will be needed to assess the robustness of the projections.

“However, what is absolutely clear is that we have continued to see a trend of warming, with the decade of 2000-2009 being clearly the warmest in the instrumental record going back to 1850. Depending on which temperature records you use, 2010 was the warmest year on record  for NOAA NCDC and NASA GISS, and the second warmest on record in HadCRUT3.”

Global average temperatures from 1850 to 2011 from the three individual global temperature datasets (Met Office/UEA HadCRUT3, NASA GISS and NOAA NCDC

Furthermore despite criticism of a paper published by the Met Office he chose not to ask us to respond to his misconceptions. The study in question, supported by many others, provides an insight into the sensitivity of our climate to changes in the output of the sun.

It confirmed that although solar output is likely to reduce over the next 90 years this will not substantially delay expected increases in global temperatures caused by greenhouse gases. The study found that the expected decrease in solar activity would only most likely cause a reduction in global temperatures of 0.08 °C. This compares to an expected warming of about 2.5 °C over the same period due to greenhouse gases (according to the IPCC’s B2 scenario for greenhouse gas emissions that does not involve efforts to mitigate emissions).  In addition the study also showed that if solar output reduced below that seen in the Maunder Minimum – a period between 1645 and 1715 when solar activity was at its lowest observed level – the global temperature reduction would be 0.13C.

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31 Responses to Met Office in the Media: 29 January 2012

  1. Daily Mail also stated 92% chance of Maunder Minimium like conditions. To quote DM article “According to a paper issued last week by the Met Office, there is a 92 per cent chance that both Cycle 25 and those taking place in the following decades will be as weak as, or weaker than, the ‘Dalton minimum’ of 1790 to 1830”.

    Your/Reading Uni research paper actually said an 8% chance of this happening!!

  2. Simon Cooper says:

    What’s the matter with your command of the English language? There is a difference between warm (values) and warming (a trend). The last 10 years may have been warm, but there has been no warming trend. That is what people are talking about all over the world. No warming for 15 years. That’s accurate – until you produce HadCrut v4 with its new Arctic stations (no cherrypicking there then).

    As for your models saying CO2 trumps the Sun, well, we’ll see. Your models and predictions so far have a batting average of 0.

  3. The bar chart of temperatures by decade is a nice attempt by the Met Office’s Global Warming Propaganda Unit to “hide the decline” in warming this century.

    The Mail article is more accurate than the Met Office website on climate change, which makes the false claims that warming and sea level rise are both accelerating.

    Bstoke – you have confused the Maunder and Dalton minima.

  4. Talking of misleading:

    “In addition the study also showed that if solar output reduced below that seen in the Maunder Minimum – a period between 1645 and 1715 when solar activity was at its lowest observed level – the global temperature reduction would be 0.13C.”

    Would this not depend to some degree on how far future solar output was reduced below the levels seen during the Maunder Minimum?

    Also, seeing as the models used to produce these ‘projections’ have parameters such that it is assumed that solar influence is considerably less than that of carbon dioxide, is it really much of a surprise that the outputs show solar activity to not have much of an effect? Is that what would be known in the vernacular as a circular argument?

  5. David Rose has plenty of form which has been documented here. Pity it took an Australian blog to do it.

  6. David Rose and the Daily/Sunday Mail have previous form with regard to disinformation and misinformation concerning Climate Change. It is shameful that such nonsense can be published in a national newspaper, and that there is no automatic right for their mistakes to be pointed out and prominently corrected in their paper.

  7. Gary Brunner says:

    Read to see how various forcing functions affect global temps. The article shows how factors such as the sun, volcanoes, etc. can raise or lower temps, but greenhouse gasses have the temp on a continuing rise.

  8. Why don’t you show the actual data, rather than trying your hardest to obscure the obvious stasis with the graphic above?

  9. So the MET office is emphatically declaring that we are warmer than we were during the LIA. Well duh… Do you really want us to be colder!? Will they wish another LIA on us? They need a better grip on reality. GK

  10. mrsean2k says:

    Although I’d agree the “alternative” graph minimises the fact that measured warming has paused, I don’t think it’s misleading per se, it just takes quite a bit of effort to parse.

    Two questions:

    (1) Why has the uncertainty increased for the 2000’s when compared with all the averages as far back as 1940? Surely the bounds should contract and not expand?

    (2) What happens to that graph if it is plotted with a different central value for the 10 year period in question? We may choose to talk about averages of 1990 – 1999, 2000 – 2009 etc. but that’s an arbitrary choice for rhetorical purposes. What happens to that diagram if the data are partitioned differently?

  11. obrlnews says:

    Sir, your own graphic shows merely the temperature trends of the earth as it comes out of the Little Ice Age. Of course it warms during that general trend. But it has not warmed continuously, and the CO2 which is claimed to be driving the warming may well be the product of the warming, as is well known that the oceans are the largest CO2 reservoir on the planet, and as the waters warm, they discharge accumulated CO2 from hundreds of years back. Posting up the usual “hockey stick” graphic is no longer scientifically defendible, especially since the findings about the data massaging which the Mann, et al, team undertook to produce it. Heads should have rolled after the “climategate” memos, showing unethical plotting and scheming by various high-ups in the Royal Court of CO2 fundamentalism. That they did not makes it difficult to accept anything claimed by government-fed bureaucracies, as it is a situation reflecting exactly what the atomic power industry did over decades — lied and lied to get their big money and a free hand, over the objections of scientists who knew the dangers. Climate science, like environmental science, is today colored and suspect for its malfeasance in these matters, if not for a rather transparent embrace of Marxist agendas in the “solutions” for a problem that can hardly be affected, if indeed it is driven by the Sun. Now, that is the basic message of the Daily Mail article, and your disclaimer is hardly sufficient.

    • MorinMoss says:

      Mann’s “massaging” and the stolen memos have been examined MULTIPLE times – at least 5 investigations and been exonerated.

      Let’s subpoena 13 years of Heartland Institutes’s correspondance and we’ll see who’s truly unethical.

      • obrlnews says:

        Examined by whom? Friends in the Royal Society? Politicians pushing multi-billion-dollar schemes?

        The larger point is, that the CO2 theory advocates have not proven their case. If I make a new theory on global climate, it is up to me to prove it beyond reasonable doubts, to come up with something lacking in internal contradictions and where I haven’t been going around in a “whispering campaign” aimed to censor criticism and destroy the lives of anyone who opposes my new idea. CO2 theory has many internal contradictions, and has not proven any better (nor even as good) as the standard older concepts on self-resonating homeostatic feedback cycles, or a mix of that tempered by solar variation. In the last decade we have seen professional meteorologists and climatologist in the government employ who dared to raise questions about CO2 theory being sacked by angry left-wing politicians, along with a media smear campaign which openly compares them to “Holocaust deniers” (the communist Amy Goodman got that vile charge going) and top political hacks (Al Gore, one of the young Kennedys, and others) calling for the imprisonment of critics of CO2 theory under the premise that they were a threat to “life on the planet”. We have seen the bizarre spectacle of pop-party gatherings at Copenhagen, Washington and Cancun, falsely described as “scientific meetings” where no critics were tolerated, but meanwhile anomalous snow and cold occurred outside the halls. I wish I could say this kind of scientism was confined to only the climate controversy, but it is regrettably something that has been growing, unscientific and antiscientific political back-stabbing invading into the once calm waters of medicine, biology, physics, and now climate science. Where the Big Money is found, truth is treated shabbily.

      • MorinMoss says:

        These were formal investigations, incl one commissioned by US Rep James Inhofe, an outspoken and influential denier.

        Wikipedia has a list and links to the reports.

        There has been a LOT of mudslinging, from both sides, but looking through years of exchanges, it seems that the deniers got the ball rolling once the evidence and studies weren’t going their way.

        And there are a few, like Denning who are strongly right-wing yet still fully believe in AGW.
        He’s even presented – forcefully, at Heartland-sponsored events.

        The REAL really Big Money is on the Business as Usual side ( where you’ll find many corps who play both sides and profit handsomely) and corporations have a long history of treating truth shabbily, as anyone who’s old enough to recall the Big Tobacco fight against lung cancer warnings knows all too well

        I don’t see many internal contradictions in the CO2 science but there are significant uncertainties and only time and research will resolve those.
        But, it’s NOT necessary for 100% ironclad certainty in order to take steps to mitigate as it may well be too late by then for anything other than drastic geoengineering

  12. tealsand says:

    Maybe this issue would be helped if the Met Office replied by posting their actual Decadal prediction/forecasts?

    “2009 decadal prediction of global average temperature and validation of past predictions.”

    and the latest 2011 “Decadal forecast”

    Well, maybe not, as the 2009 forecast has not been updated with actual data so it doesn’t really say anything other than at the date it stopped the actual and forecast were not in agreement?

    The 2011 forecast is a 12mth rolling forecast that starts in Sept 2011 so it will be Aug 2012 before we can see how well the forecast is playing out. Even then it is going to be difficult to assess as the relevant part of the chart has now been truncated. Why does a chart that purports to validate forecasts that start in 1985 now start in 1950? The 2009 forecast started in 1985 why the change?

    Also why does it include data from NCDC and GISS when the forecast and validation is to be against HadCRUT3? It would also appear that the value of the previous predictions (the yellow line) have changed between 2009 and 2011? Why the changes, when all they appear to do is make it more difficult to follow the forecasts?

  13. @Simon Cooper: why do you say there’s no warming trend over the last 10-15 years? Have you calculated the trend line and calculated the significance? More here:

    • jdey123 says:

      Significance depends on what you’re determining to be the null hypothesis, and over what period of time you believe it’s suitable to test the hypothesis. Clearly, if the null hypothesis is that the world hasn’t warmed since 1998, which is the usual argument, then we can prove it has.

      Ah, but you say, the length of time is not long enough. Well that depends on how you view it. Is it just 13 years i.e. 13 data points or is it 156 months.

      So, you see to call something significant or not depends on the precision of your definition. If we look at a really bad descripton from the IPCC AR4 report (2007) “warming is unequivocal”, what do we deduce from this. It’s not specified over what time period this warming is supposed to have occurred. Is it since 1978, since 1998, over the earth-based temperature record, over the satellite-based temperture record or over the paleoclimatic temperature record. The IPCC report is full of non-scientific statements which sound impressive but which are in fact nonsense.

      So, you will probably say, Simon’s cherry picked a period since 1998. Ok, but warmists usually cherry pick a period since 1978, so you’re no better.
      The important thing to prove the global warming hypothesis is, is the warming at the rate predicted by the IPCC climate models which the AR4 report says they have “considerable confidence” in (0.2C per decade for an (unspecified) range of emission scenarios), or is it significantly less?

      Well trend rates per year are as follows:-

      From 1998 (end of last warming phase): -0.0005C
      From 1978 (start of satellite temperature record): 0.0153C
      From 1950 (when weather stations got to 3000): 0.0118C
      From 1850: (longest earth-based global temperature record: 0.0045C
      From 1652: (longest earth-based temperature record for a location (central england)): 0.0002C

      None of the trend periods gets close to 0.2C per decade, the period since 1978 is 75% of that value, and the period from 1652 is 10% of that value.

      Which trend length would you choose?

      P.S. To the Met Office, I find it astonishing that you’re deleting comments. You are funded by the taxpayer.

  14. jdey123 says:

    What is a scientific theory?

    “A theory is a good theory if it satisfies two requirements: It must accurately describe a large class of observations on the basis of a model that contains only a few arbitrary elements, and it must make definite predictions about the results of future observations.”

    “Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis; you can never prove it. No matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time the result will not contradict the theory. On the other hand, you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory.”

    Dr Stephen Hawing, “Brief History of Time”.

    The IPCC have never made a definite prediction for the global warming hypothesis. They have made projections. They say that they are unable to make definite predictions due to being unable to know what manmade emissions will be in the future. Emission scenarios should be easier to predict than the climate so this explanation is suspect. The projections that the IPCC produce cover a range of emission scenarios with confidence levels set only at the 1 standard deviation level (i.e. The range that 68% of model runs cover). It is usual practice to show confidence levels at the 2 standard deviation (~95% model coverage level), as if observations fall outside of that range, it is exceptionally unlikely that the hypothesis is true. In any case, the statements that are often put out that the “science is settled” and/or global warming is a hypothesis not a theory is a lie, as no definite predictions have ever been attempted.

  15. So Rose who wrote the propaganda was spoken to by actual scientists who corrected Rose, and Rose went ahead and published his lies anyway. Exxon/Mobile has all the money in the world to buy traitors who will lie for money.


  16. jdey123 says:

    What do the warmists mean when they say that it is very likely that global warming is due to the increase in greenhouse gases?

    Professor Jones, CRU unit, University of East Anglia explains:

    “D – Do you agree that natural influences could have contributed significantly to the global warming observed from 1975-1998, and, if so, please could you specify each natural influence and express its radiative forcing over the period in Watts per square metre.

    This area is slightly outside my area of expertise. When considering changes over this period we need to consider all possible factors (so human and natural influences as well as natural internal variability of the climate system). Natural influences (from volcanoes and the Sun) over this period could have contributed to the change over this period. Volcanic influences from the two large eruptions (El Chichon in 1982 and Pinatubo in 1991) would exert a negative influence. Solar influence was about flat over this period. Combining only these two natural influences, therefore, we might have expected some cooling over this period. ”

    “E – How confident are you that warming has taken place and that humans are mainly responsible?

    I’m 100% confident that the climate has warmed. As to the second question, I would go along with IPCC Chapter 9 – there’s evidence that most of the warming since the 1950s is due to human activity. ”

    “H – If you agree that there were similar periods of warming since 1850 to the current period, and that the MWP is under debate, what factors convince you that recent warming has been largely man-made?

    The fact that we can’t explain the warming from the 1950s by solar and volcanic forcing – see my answer to your question D. ”

    So, in summary, the global warming hypothesis comes down to climate scientists being unable to produce a climate model over an extremely small period of climatic history that has any correlation to known data, unless they include manmade forcing agents, and hence they deduce that the warming period (1978-1998) was due to man. Are the climate models reliable? No, they’ve failed to match unknown observed data.

    So following Professor Jones logic, any complex system that scientists are unable to explain can be attributed to mankind.

    Obviously, this is complete nonsense which is why climate “science” does not appear in the science/technology sections of most newspapers but in the politics section.

  17. jdey123 says:

    Evidence against the global warming hypothesis:-

    Antarctic Sea Ice is more extensive today than it has been since records began:-

    IPCC prediction is 0.2C per decade. Actual global trend since 1998 is -0.001C per decade. Actual global trend since 1880 is 0.4—0.4/131=0.06C per decade. Whether you pick a near or long term trend, it’s way below IPCC’s best estimate.

    On a country level, UK’s national temperature record dates back to 1910. Annual mean temperature trend is 9.2-8.3/(2012-1910)=0.09C per decade.

    The world’s longest reliable temperature record (Central England Temperature) shows a naturally variable climate within a very tight temperature range (+/- 1C) since 1772. We’re currently 0.5C above average but on a downward trend. Trend since 1772 is 0.5—0.25/(2012-1772)=0.03C per decade. Going further back in the accompanying dataset to 1659, we get a long term trend of 0.02C per decade. 1/10th of that projected by the IPCC in their 2007 report.

    There is no correlation between CO2 emissions and global mean temperature over the entire global temperature record. There have only been 2 warming periods (1910-1940 and 1978 to 1998) in that record :-

    Global sea level rise since 1880 is only 2mm per year:-

  18. In the 2007 IPPC TAR temperature curves were smoothed with a 13 point smoothing. At that time smoothed temperatures showed a continuous rising trend for recent years. That is no longer the case and the Met Office has decided to move the goal posts to claim that the trend continues. I believe that the Met Office would do more for its credibility to admit that, at least, the rate of temperature increase has slowed.
    For more, including temperature plots, see:

    • Dave Britton says:

      The Met Office has been exploring the slowdown in the rate of global temperature rise for several years. A publication from late 2010, available here provides scientific review of the latest research at the time into what may cause the slow down in warming on short time-scales.

      • jdey123 says:

        Yep, and it’s full of nonsense. It starts off with the following startling phrase in large letters “Evidence of global warming
        has continued to grow in the three years since the last IPCC1 report — and during 2010 in particular”

        The climate change evidence section makes lots of claims that the world is definitely warming and it’s due to mankind.

        In the short term trends section, there’s an admission that the warming rate has slowed substantially and that there’s less heat in the upper 700m layer of the ocean. It then speculates that the heat may have been transferred to the depths of the ocean where it can’t be measured. Further speculation that aerosols may be to blame. Other possible reasons proposed are changes to the temperature measurements, and the poor temperature collection in the Arctic, where warming is likely to have occurred. It then moves on to mention that sea ice in the Arctic has decreased at the same time that temperature increase has slowed. We then get told yet again that climate models can’t model sea increase extent by using just natural forcing agents, so it must be mankind. And then we move on to the summary.

        So, the starting phrase is in complete contradiction to the entire paper. The warming rate has cooled down, and scientists are no nearer explaining why apart from pointing at climate models that failed to predict the slowdown in warming and are, therefore, clearly rubbish.

        Do you not understand that publishing a report that’s full of garbage brings not only the MetOffice in to disrepute but the whole body of science? Do you not understand the damage that this will do? People will start questioning everything they’ve been told potentially making life-threatening choices because they no longer believe anything scientists tell them.

  19. Climate Science and the Uncertainty Monster, J.A. Curry and P.A. Webster, December 2011

    Paper neatly summarises the state of climate science, the uncertainties and the way in which the science needs to progress in order to slay the uncertainty monster, including a request by the author to move away from tribalism.

  20. Thank you Dave for referring to the document giving a broader perspective of recent temperature changes. I do have a few quibbles with it. Two examples relate to sea ice and northern hemisphere snow cover.

    The values quoted for sea ice are an increase of 0.1 km2 per decade for the Antarctic and a decrease of 0.8 km2 per decade for the Arctic. On my web site I have data for sea ice. ( ) A regression line through the monthly data give an increase of 0.24 million km2 for the Antarctic and a decrease of 0.60 for the Arctic. The Met Office may of course have selected values for a particular time of year and have valid reasons for doing so but this is not made clear.

    Similarly with snow cover you show only the values for March and April snow cover. I appreciate that these months are more important from an albedo point of view (though what is important actually is sun angle and albedo, not quite the same thing). However winter snow cover shows almost no trend.

    It seems to me a lot of the debate is not about the principles and the science but about the metrics used to support one side or other. I’ve looked at this in more detail on the comments part of my web site.

  21. Roy Everett says:

    The graphics at the top of this page to my eyes are totally fraudulent. The actual temperatures recorded by the thermometers over the land during the last two decades have dropped after a rise of around half a degree per century. In reality there is no upward flick at the end. What you have done is use GISS dataset 14 (Fudged) instead of dataset 12 (Real). Dataset 14 incorporates data from many stations to which a wholly bogus rate of increase of half a degree per century over the last century, and a significant number of stations to which a wholly bogus rate of increase of five degrees per century in the last two decades. This was done in the first case by subtracting around one degree from half of the temperatures around 1900 but no subtraction around 2000; the second fraud was committed around 1990 by subtracting one degree. The fudge is clearly visible if you compare the figures provided in DS12 with those at DS14 for individual stations; the fingerprints of the fudge were then obliterated by averaging over a subset of the 39,024 original stations by means of an arcane undisclosed averaging and modeling procedure that, inter alia, extrapolated land data to the oceanic areas. The UAH results are useless as corroboration as you have simply calibrated the satellites against dataset 14. Repeated talk of “slowdown in the rate of global temperature rise” is pedantic public relations spin to hide the fact that temperatures are declining and that there has been a major deception to create the impression of warming. You should be ashamed of publishing such obvious garbage.

  22. I think you used the wrong chart…

  23. Terrifying new book about climate change
    extract: • There’s very little we can do to stop it at this late stage, but we might be able to save ourselves if we immediately take these necessary and drastic steps:

    – Increase our reliance on alternative energy sources and stop using so much oil and other carbon-based fuels;
    – Adopt energy-efficient practices in all aspects of our lives, however inconvenient;
    – Impose punitive taxes on inefficient or polluting activities to discourage them;
    – Funnel large sums of money from developed nations like the U.S. to Third World nations;
    – In general embrace all environmental causes.

    You of course recognize these as the solutions most often recommended to ameliorate the looming crisis of Global Warming. But there’s a little glitch in my narrative. Because although the book I read was indeed about climate change, it wasn’t about Global Warming at all; it was instead about “The Coming of the New Ice Age,” and it isn’t exactly “new” — it was published in 1977.

  24. Arno Arrak says:

    That is complete rubbish. First, there was no warming at all in the decade of 2000 to 2009. It was certainly the warmest decade on record but no thanks to your imaginary warming. What made it warm was the aftermath of the super El Nino of 1998. That super El Nino brought so much warm water across the ocean that in its wake we got a step warming. In four years it raised global temperature by a third of a degree Celsius and then stopped. There was no warming in the eighties and nineties, just ENSO oscillations, but you can’t see it on your own graph because you have covered it up with a phony “Late Twentieth Century Warming.” And thanks to this skulduggery the step warming does not appear on your charts either. Next time you redraw your graph include satellite data you left out that shows these features. Secondly, 2010 is the peak year of the 2010 El Nino and a bad choice for global temperature. The global temperature record consists of alternate warm El Nino and cool La Nina phases of ENSO. Global mean temperature is not determined by using only the tips of El Nino peaks. That mean is obtained by taking the average of the tip of the El Nino peak and the bottom of the adjacent La Nina valley. The 2010 El Nino was preceded by the 2008 La Nina valley. The mean temperature of the 2010 El Nino and the 2008 La Nina is one third of a degree lower than the peak El Nino temperature you are trying to put over on us to prove that warming exists. It is absolutely clear that we have not continued to see a trend of warming as you claim and the step warming that raised the temperature of the twenty-first century has nothing to do with that imaginary trend of yours.

    • Dave Britton says:

      Arno, you are right to say that you should not be using the peaks and troughs of year to year global average temperature to identify trends. This is the point we are trying to make and the danger of using trends over short timescales. Using longer timescales has the effect of smoothing out much of the inherent natural variablility that you talk about to provide a clearer picture of the underlying trend in global temperatures.

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