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The Met Office Becomes The New “Panicker In-Chief”

December 10, 2009

Global average temperature may hit record level in 2010:

“The latest forecast from our climate scientists shows the global temperature is forecast to be almost 0.6C above the 1961-90 long-term average,” a Met Office statement said.

“This means that it is more likely than not 2010 will be the warmest in the instrumental record that dates back to 1860.”

However it added: “A record warm year in 2010 is not a certainty, especially if the current El Nino was to unexpectedly decline rapidly near the start of 2010, or if there was a large volcanic eruption.

“We will review the forecast during 2010 as observation data become available.”

I personally love the next line:

“The Met Office, in collaboration with the University of East Anglia, maintains one of the three global temperature records that is used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).”

In collaboration.  Nice choice of words. Perhaps Mark Kinver is being a bit spicy in his use of words.

he is of course spot on, the Met Office have worked very closely with the UEA on climate, and have an awful lot to lose in terms of credibility should the UEA’s data or practises be confirmed as “dodgy”.

Hence the ramping up of their media campaign.  They are rattled, no doubt about it.

First the Met Office said that a review of the data would take three years.  Then a few days later they rush out a cherry-picked list of 1000 weather stations used in their data, while still confidently asserting that there is no issue with the data.

Now a story about how 2010 will set records.  Well it will in terms of temperature due to El Nino conditions, even I could predict that.  But that is of course, if you take the warming trend shown by their data at face value, which many people simply do not. So it could be warm, but how warm in the historical context is certainly not “settled”.

“Their analyses also showed that 2009 would almost certainly be the fifth warmest in the 160-year record.”

Well it might be.  But climate patterns in within the context of our planet rise and fall over much longer periods than 160 years (actually reliable electronic monitoring records are available for less than half of that 160 years, and a lot of those are incomplete).  It is all about the context of the data presented.

It also appears the Met Office is trying to shore up its position today with the news reported in the Times:

“The Met Office has embarked on an urgent exercise to bolster the reputation of climate-change science after the furore over stolen e-mails.

More than 1,700 scientists have agreed to sign a statement defending the “professional integrity” of global warming research.”

However, this also reported:

“One scientist said that he felt under pressure to sign the circular or risk losing work. The Met Office admitted that many of the signatories did not work on climate change.”

And from the print edition of the Times:

“‘One scientist told The Times he felt under pressure to sign. “The Met Office is a major employer of scientists and has long had a policy of only appointing and working with those who subscribe to their views on man-made global warming,” he said.'”

So how valuable is this, if you look beyond the headline?  The problem is that the Met Office know that most people simply don’t.

Would these 1700 have agreed to that fact so strongly, if there were not grants from the Met Office at stake one wonders?

As a final thought on this, here is a quote that puts the Met Office’s 160 year high into context:

I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago.”

And the person who said that was….

Keith Briffa, in one of the Climategate emails.



From → ClimateGate

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