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Sceptics ask: Is the UK government’s climate propaganda machine finally falling apart?

Just when you think things are as inanely silly as they can be, they raise the stakes. It’s a game of double or nothing in the race to the bottom. The close common interests of three big government agencies is fragmenting and instead of skeptics launching the FOI’s, this time, the BBC is.

Just in case there is anyone who doesn’t know, the UK Met predicted a winter a couple of degrees above the usual. Then supertankers of snow turned up and dumped on the nation, surprising people, and making life difficult for everyone who hadn’t made arrangements for the return of the British Blizzard and the coldest December on record. The UK Met, having got it completely wrong, decided the best course of action was to announce post hoc that actually they did get it right, really, they predicted cold weather, but they didn’t tell the public, they just told the politicians. The politicians apparently asked them not to let on to the public, or so the story goes, and the plot thickens.

One way or another someone is using tactics with all the forward thinking you’d expect from a five year old. If the Met office is not incompetent then the implication is one of implacable dishonesty from either the BOM or the UK government (or possibly — both).

The BBC reported it, without asking too many hard questions, which makes them look a bit silly too. Now, instead of the Big Scare Campaign Team working together, three big formerly aligned groups are fighting for their own cred. The BBC versus the Met, versus The Government.

On January 6th the GWPF asked:

Did UK Government Keep Cold Winter Warning Secret In Run-Up To UN Climate Conference?

It would appear that the extreme weather warning was kept secret from the public.

According to media reports, the Cabinet Office has been unwilling to confirm whether or not it failed to pass on the Met Office warning to local and road authorities, airports and water companies.

“Not only is the lack of Government preparedness a cause for concern, but we wonder whether there may be another reason for keeping the cold warning under wraps, a motive that the Met Office and the Cabinet Office may have shared: Not to undermine the then forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun,” said Dr Benny Peiser, the GWPF director.

The full GWPF press release is here.

Today Benny Pieser of the GWPF reports of the developing FOI’s described in an article in the Canada Free Press, 11 January 2011

by John O’Sullivan

The BBC serves Freedom of Information request (FOIA) on UK Government over weather forecast failures secrecy in worst winter for 100 years.

In an almighty battle to salvage credibility,  three British government institutions are embroiled in a new global warming scandal with the BBC mounting a legal challenge to force ministers to admit the truth. Sceptics ask: Is the UK government’s climate propaganda machine finally falling apart?

Last week the weather service caused a sensation by making the startling claim that it was gagged by government ministers from issuing a cold winter forecast. Instead, a milder than average prediction was made that has been resoundingly ridiculed in one of the worst winters in a century that has been resoundingly ridiculed in one of the worst winters in a century.

With the BBC appearing to take the side of the Met Office by seeking to force the government to give honest answers, untold harm will likely befall Prime Minister Cameron’s global warming policies on energy, taxation and the environment.

Rift between BBC, Met Office and UK Government Grows

Mention of the ‘secret’ cold winter forecast appears in the Quarmby Report (Section 2.4) which states, “The Met Office gave ‘early indications of the onset of a cold spell from late November’ at the end of October.”

Giving a strong hint that a major rift appears to have opened up between Met Office chief executive, John Hirst and Climate Minister, Huhne, Harrabin further revealed, “The Beeb now has an FoI [freedom of information request] to Cabinet Office requesting verbatim info from [the] Met Office.”

Why did the BOM keep it’s cold prediction secret? The other possibility as mentioned by autonomous mind, is that they were quite hurt with the criticisms last year, and didn’t want any more put-downs if they got it wrong. Autonomous mind also has a good copy of the October predictions.

The real answers are of course obscured in public relations speak, which Bishop Hill dismantles well.

UPDATE

Maurizio Morabito points out in comment 12 and on his blog Omniclimate that The BBC has NOT reported on this story. There are a few words by Harrabin in the “Radio Times” but nothing at all in the BBC News website.

From his blog post:

The news about the “exceptionally cold winter” forecast was broken by the BBC’s Roger Harrabin (of Jo Abbess fame), apparently from the pages of the Radio Times. I cannot be 100% sure because I do not read the Radio Times, there is no mention of Harrabin on the RT website and the closest online trace to Harrabin’s words is an article from the Daily Telegraph. Obviously there is no reason to believe the Telegraph has made up Harrabin’s quotes, and given that there’s been no protestation by Harrabin himself the Telegraph story is very very likely to be true.

  • Why then, has Harrabin said not a thing about this all in the BBC News website?
  • From comment #12

    This “detail” assumed even greater importance today with the news of the legal challenge to the UK Govt. My impression is that the Beeb is colluding with the Met Office into shaming the Government, in other words Harrabin or similar BBC senior person has been shown by the Met Office the “hidden forecast” of a harsh winter.

    (Thanks Maurizio!)

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    86 comments to Sceptics ask: Is the UK government’s climate propaganda machine finally falling apart?

    • #

      Message to the Met Office – when in a hole, stop digging.

      .

      00

    • #

      The low calibre of so many of those pushing for and propping up the climate scare has to keep on letting them down. Their consolation will be the extra wealth they acquired, and the brief period of prestige which they enjoyed and which has been fading away quite appreciably over the past 14 months or so. I hope that, as the PR people say, ‘lessons will be learned’ so that we can protect ourselves and our societies more effectively from such people and such plotting as we have watched unfold over the past 30 years or so.

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    • #

      The BBC is a systemically left-wing organisation which is also the lead eco-activist propaganda outlet for Global Warming alarmism in the UK. With this move, it both embarrasses a nominally right-wing government and tries to salvage the tattered reputation of the Met Office.

      http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/the-msm-and-climate-alarmism/

      Pointman

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    • #
      co2isnotevil

      The reasons why the planet is colder than usual now are that Sun spot activity has been unusually low, last seasons snow pack lasted longer than usual, this seasons snow pack started earlier than usual and is extending further towards the equator. The longer lasting snow pack reflects more solar power so less is available to heat the planet. It’s not that hard to figure out, it’s just hard to reconcile the facts with what the warmists want us to believe. I wonder if the Thames will freeze over this year …

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    • #
      Dr.TG Watkins

      What fun! Who said what to whom and when and who in gov. knew?
      Even potential for litigation against Gov. or Met Office or both.
      Maybe a similar case for litigation against BOM(A) for failing to predict rainfall increase which must have played some part in the decisions not to build dams. The cyclical nature of climate and the floods of 1974 were ignored because of the fixation with AGW and environmental issues.
      My heart goes out to the people of Toowoomba.

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    • #
      pattoh

      Now while we are on the topic; would anybody be able to link the tone & content of the BoM & BoM/CSIRO information releases to any government positions?

      There are many worth reviewing(thanks Warwick Hughes & others) but my particular favourites include the March/April 2010, the classic horror soundbites delivered by Mr Jones after the Melbourne heatwave in January 2010 & of course the recently clocked re-writing/editing/homogenizing of rainfall history around the time the MDB debate was front & centre.

      How far off is a similar schoolyard shouting match here? (particularly when you consider the the egos in play in our national media)

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    • #
      pattoh

      oops, should have been the March/April “State of the Climate”150310.pdf

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    • #
      Dave N

      There’s 2 most likely outcomes:

      There will be backtracking to say the Met Office never issued the forecast to the government, or

      The government didn’t act on the report, the excuse being the Met Office’s very poor track record; that is unless the government are bound by regulation to take their departments forecasts as gospel. Then it won’t look too good for the government.

      The former scenario looks better for the Met Office and probably the government, the latter not good for either, any way you cut it.

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    • #
      Siliggy

      co2isnotevil:
      January 12th, 2011 at 3:10 am
      The reasons why the planet is colder than usual now are that Sun spot activity has been unusually low…

      Yes Yes and the effect is solar system wide cooling. This is much bigger than ‘global’.

      The solar cooling is showing up complete with extreme weather on Saturn.
      “As if it operating on a dimmer switch, Saturn emitted less energy every year from 2005 to 2009, according to observations made by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft in orbit around the ringed planet.”
      http://www.space.com/9537-saturn-surprises-scientists-varying-energy-output.html

      “I’ve never seen anything like this,” says veteran planetary photographer Anthony Wesley. “It’s possible that this is the biggest storm on Saturn in many decades.”
      http://www.spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=29&month=12&year=2010
      TAX THAT!

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    • #
      Saving Cancun

      It was done to save the global warming conference in Cancun. Whoever witheld the information did the thankless task to cocoon the global Warmists in Cancun from the truth.

      Or maybe it was the Ministry of Health, a rally the troops moment, tell the masses it is warm and the good auld British tradition the dears will never realise how cold it actually is.

      Whatever the truth is, British science is getting a bashing and the credibility of the Met Office has the credibility of Mystic Meg.

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    • #
      Jay Davis

      How many Britons are freezing now because they cannot afford to heat their homes? How much money has been wasted on the global warming/climate change hoax? Phil Jones and his AGW co-conspirators, including the government, have much to answer for!

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    • #

      One important detail needs correction. The BBC has NOT reported on this story. There are a few words by Harrabin in the “Radio Times” but nothing at all in the BBC News website.

      This “detail” assumed even greater importance today with the news of the legal challenge to the UK Govt. My impression is that the Beeb is colluding with the Met Office into shaming the Government, in other words Harrabin or similar BBC senior person has been shown by the Met Office the “hidden forecast” of a harsh winter.

      Expect heads to roll, but not immediately.

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    • #
      Mark D.

      @ 1 : Stop digging indeed! The trouble is that they lack the necessary technical expertise to recognize a hole.
      .
      .
      .
      .

      Siliggy,

      TAX THAT!

      I’m sure there is at least one bureaucrat working on it………

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    • #
      Mark Allinson

      “The Met Office gave ‘early indications of the onset of a cold spell from late November’ at the end of October.”

      But wait a minute – by the end of October there were already extensive early snowfalls in northern England, clearly indicating the approach of a cold winter to anyone with a brain, as this link confirms:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/8076667/Snow-falls-in-Yorkshire-In-October.html

      What a daring prediction!

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    • #
      Llew Jones

      Once the BBC/Met/Government has been sorted out I would like to see who ever was responsible for giving advice to the Victorian Labor government on ACC which caused it to squander billions on its white elephant desalination plant, now being built in Wonthaggi, outed.

      John Brumby, premier at the time,in reference to it and the equally unnecessary “north/south pipeline” never tired of repeating his climate change mantra as a rationale.

      Even more useful would be for the new Coalition government to mothball the partly constructed plant and build a decent sized dam in Gippsland.

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    • #

      Dr.TG Watkins:
      January 12th, 2011 at 4:07 am
      My heart goes out to the people of Toowoomba.

      I’m in Toowoomba.

      The people to feel sorry for are the people all around us on low ground. Toowoomba is on the Great Divide and the flooding here was a flash flood caused by very heavy rain over a short period. There was a line of cells or one elongated cell which went through Toowoomba the long way. The damage here was very local mostly confined to the vicinity of the two creeks which run either side of the CBD from south to north and converge just to the north of it.
      There has been considerable work done on flood mitigation on both creeks with West creek particularly having extensive work done over the last 10 years. This was simply overwhelmed. The water levels subsided as quickly as they rose.

      The vast majority of the town is little affected and at least infra structure is functional and cleanup is well underway. In the lower areas of Queensland it will be weeks before the floodwaters subside. Some of our neighbours had problems due to water running through the house during the heavy rain. I was at a business only 20 meters from the western creek about two hours before the heavy rain. I’d say they are temporarily out of business as the water was at least 1.5 meters above street level there according to the video I saw.

      We were to fly to Perth this morning but cancelled on Monday afternoon as we couldn’t be certain of getting to Brisbane airport on Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning. Under these circumstances, if you are OK and not under threat it is probably best to stay where you are. Being in Brisbane right now isn’t a good idea.

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    • #
      socold

      “Just in case there is anyone who doesn’t know, the UK Met predicted a winter a couple of degrees above the usual.”

      No. No they didn’t. The Met Office issued a report on the 28th of October (note: well before winter) stating that the newspapers had been very naughty to use a chart they found on the Met Office’s website as if it was a seasonal forecast.

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    • #
      socold

      “The reasons why the planet is colder than usual now are that Sun spot activity has been unusually low”

      I agree with the last part, but the first part isn’t correct. The planet just saw it’s second warmest year (2010) since the little ice age. Now back to the last part I agree with – how much warmer would 2010 have been if sunspot activity wasn’t unusually low?

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    • #
      wendy

      Just for YOU “socold”!!

      THE MYTH THAT 2010 WAS THE HOTTEST YEAR EVER……….. :-

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/09/monckton-skewers-steketee/#more-31240

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    • #
      co2isnotevil

      socold,

      The claims that the last few years have been record warm years are dubious at best. Most come from GISS, Hansen in particular, who’s lack of objectivity is well known when it comes to reporting climate data. When the empirical evidence contradicts partisan claims, I would lean to the evidence. Record cold weather is evident all over and I hear very few cases of record heat anywhere on the globe, although the few instances where this happens do seem to get more MSM coverage. The last 3 years in particular have been getting steadily cooler and at a rate that exceeds the rate of any warming that preceded. I’ve been monitoring Alpine glaciers all over the Sierra Nevada mountains for many years (I ski them in the summer) and they have all grown substantially. One in particular was nearly 3 times larger than it was at it’s most recent minimum back in 2007, which was about the same size as it’s previous local minimum back in the mid 80′s. Last year there were places still holding snow in mid October that would usually have been completely burned off by mid August and we only had a slightly above normal snow pack. In fact, the extent of the Alpine glaciers at the end of last summer was larger than anyone could remember, in one case, going back to the 60′s. This year, we are on track for a record snow pack and I expect them to grow some more.

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    • #
      Dr.TG Watkins

      Mike Borgelt.
      Thanks for the info. Mike and I should have extended my concern to everyone downstream. I worked in Townsville for 5 yrs in the70s and I’ve visited Toowoomba several times, and then 9 yrs in Sydney. My elder two children have returned to Aus. so I really have a strong feeling for Aus. and I always felt a ‘red’.(rugby).

      Yes, solar events, possibly influenced by moon and planets, control our short term climate cycles. Not astrology but physics.

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    • #
      socold

      I said 2010 was the second warmest year since the little ice age.

      And that’s backed up by UAH satellite record.

      So I am afraid I am going to have to vote both your comments down for being wrong.

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    • #
      Louis Hissink

      Siliggy @ #9

      Your quotes are most interesting – energy in the solar system is decreasing (cooling) but at the same time we observe the largest ever storm on Saturn.

      On Earth we observe a global cooling trend and in Australia we have some enormous rainfall in eastern Australia, and here in Perth, erratic and strong easterlies from the anticyclone (High) located south of the continent.

      A reduction of energy in the system (cooling) causes stronger storms? This is counter-intuitive.

      My scientific curiosity at the moment is trying to work out how a large strong anticycline can have winds which start and stop – the usual convection model is incapable of producing this behaviour. And I have to live with this phenomemon at the moment, since it’s nice to know when the winds are to be expected.

      I came back from a dinner party last night (10_30pm WST) and there was no wind at all – quiet. Yet 4 AM this morning a howling gusty, typical WA easterly existed. How the heck did that wind start? Thermal heating? Or is something else going on that we are ignoring?

      Research on what causes high and low pressure atmosphere cells shows that it’s the warming up of land areas which heat up the air causing it to decrease in density and hence less G, and thus low pressure. That explanation was read in Answers.com, I recall. Needless to say, the impression I have is that we don’t really know what the physical causes of atmospheric low and high pressure cells are. A Google search returns very little, if anything.

      There is something fundamentally wrong with our understanding of the physics behind “weather” phenomenon, especially when meteorologists admit that their predictions are ~ 50% right. It’s much llike the solar wind starting and stopping, behaviour that happens from time to time which the standard model is incapable of explaining – like expecting a working nuclear reactor to suddenly stop emitting radiation without any human intervention, to then a day later, start emitting radiation on its own. As Feynman remarked, its these exceptions that falsify the existing models.

      This outcome seems to happen when most of your scientific effort is confined to the intellectual sphere.

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    • #
      co2isnotevil

      socold,

      Which satellite data goes back to the LIA?

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    • #
      co2isnotevil

      Louis,

      More storm activity seems to be associated with cooling, but not with cold. Similarly, more storm activity is associated with warmth, but not warming. That is, a planet which is too warm relative to incident power and must loose energy in order to achieve balance, will produce increased storm activity, while a planet that’s too cold will suck energy out of the atmosphere and into the planets thermal mass, reducing storm activity. The counterpoint is that more warmth evaporates more water which falls as more rain and which is clear in the ice cores where there is a clear, monotonic, relationship between the thickness of the ice for a year and the average temperature for that year.

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    • #
      Mark D.

      Socold @22

      I said 2010 was the second warmest year since the little ice age.

      And that’s backed up by UAH satellite record.

      BWAHAHAHAHAHAH! (breath) BWAHA HA HA HA HAH!!!!!

      00

    • #

      The energy/storms relationship is not as trivial as usually described. There is a lot more energy in Jupiter for example but the strongest winds are on Saturn.

      As for 2010 being the warmest, not even Hansen’s mother is going to say it is significantly warmer than 1998, so what exactly is the big deal? something is holding back the expected warming, does anybody at RC or SS know what it is?

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    • #
      Louis Hissink

      CO2isnot evil @ #25

      More storm activity is linked with cooling and more storm activity is linked with warming?

      How can two diametrically opposed phenomena yield the same outcome?

      As Maurizio noted in his post #27, the strongest winds are on Saturn, and the solar radiation reaching Saturn is less than what is arriving at Jupiter, yet the “storms” are stronger the further away one gets.

      Conclusion? Solar radiation has nothing to do with storm strength, cooling or warming.

      So what other force might be in play, because it surely cannot be solar radiation.

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    • #
      Roy Hogue

      Could socold’s mind be frozen shut?

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    • #
      Binny

      The next step will be the universities cutting loose their professors and climate change departments.

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    • #
      Siliggy

      Mark D.:
      I’m sure there is at least one bureaucrat working on it.

      With expertise to recognize a hole?
      Full story here: http://www.nationalpost.com/related/topics/index.html?subject=Department+of+Alien+Affairs&type=Organization

      Louis Hissink:
      A reduction of energy in the system (cooling) causes stronger storms? This is counter-intuitive.

      Imagine a system that is made of just two equally charged capacitors. The capacitors are connected in parralel and no current flows but there is a lot of energy in this system.

      Now imagine that one capacitor is charged and one not. A large current will flow as the charge difference equalises but there is half the energy in this system.

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    • #

      Louis – for both Saturn and Jupiter the incoming solar energy is less than the one coming out from the planet’s interior.

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    • #
      brc

      Now that the infighting has started, there’s no way the overall movement can come out ahead. Division is death in any movement, whether it be military, political, religious or environmental. This will end up in a ‘Peoples front of Judea vs Judean peoples front’ farce.

      I can see that there might be a conspiracy between the BBC and the Met Office to embarass the Government, but they’d want to be sure they have a smoking gun or they are going to come out looking very stupid indeed. And those who have been framed in the Government might start on a witch-hunt at the Met Office and BBC. These are publicly funded institutions, after all. It’s not hard for politicians to make life difficult for the heads of these organisations.

      In any case, the entire mess will put the spotlight on the entire AGW circus, which is a good thing in any case.

      As for the BOM, nothing it could have done to save lives in Qld as flash flooding is both unpredictable and rapid by name and nature. However, it could have been a lot more vocal against politicians invoking expensive infrastructure in the name of climate change. Something along the lines of ‘there is no evidence that the current dry period is out of the ordinary in Australian history’. That might have stopped the desal plants being built, but not much else.

      Long term residents of SEQ have been always wary of a repeat of 1974 and the ignorance-is-bliss belief that Wivenhoe solved the problem for good. All the old heads I know that are interested in such things have been warning of a 1974 repeat since the Dams all filled last year. And the summer is only half over, plenty more chance for an unwelcome southern latitdue cyclone yet, or more intense rain as happened in 1893. More Dams wouldn’t have solved the problem as they would all already be full. This beautiful part of the world is periodically subject to flooding rains, and there’s nothing that the inabitants can do about it apart from lay stone floors and have evacuation plans in place, or choose to live on a hill.

      The one bright spot in all the QLD flooding is that I haven’t yet heard one reporter or politician use the words ‘climate change’. This is probably because ‘climate change’ was trotted out all the time to explain the prior drought. I suspect Bob Brown might be building up to a press release, but it’s unlikely to go over well with the people of QLD. Beside, he doesn’t like to stray too far into QLD, there’s not a lot of love for his ilk north of the borders.

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    • #
      co2isnotevil

      Louis #28,

      Notice that warm is different than warming and cold is different than cooling. The absolute temperature sets the baseline, but the contribution of dT/dt adds to or subtracts from the baseline.

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    • #
      John McLean

      Let’s be accurate here. The Met Office forecast, like BoM seasonal forecasts, are PROBABILITY, based on previous observations.

      Apparently the historical meteorological records are examined, for example, for the last few months and the Met Office effectively says something like “For the next few months there’s a 7 out of 10 probability of above average rainfall”. (This is explained on the BoM web pages but I’m not sure about the Met web pages.)

      There are several problems with this method

      1 – Strictly speaking it’s not a probability at all but merely a statistic of the percentage of times something occurred. Weather isn’t random at all. (The BoM’s seasonal forecast did mention the La Nina.)

      1 – Arguably the data examination should only go back to 1976 when the Great Pacific Climate shift occurred and the bias switched from favouring La Nina to favouring El Nino. What does does the examination go back to now? I have no idea but I suspect much longer.

      2 – It’s rated against 1961-90 averages, which although standard in meteorology are dubious for the reason given in 1 above. It would be make more sense to now compare against the last 30 years.

      3 – The Met office doesn’t seem to take anything else into account (e.g. prevailing winds, current amount of moisture on the ground, NAO etc.)

      4 – It says nothing about the real magnitude of the predicted events. There might only be a 40% probability of exceeding the average rainfall, but that says nothing about being 2mm above it or 500mm above it.

      I regard the merit in the forecasts to be about 6 on a scale of 10.

      Incidentally, the Met Office did try to use models to predict seasonal weather conditions but I believe gave them up after 3 or 4 complete failures. We are still however expected to believe those same models for times 60 years into the future – go figure!

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    • #
    • #
      John from CA

      “There are usually good reasons why an [flawed] idea becomes accepted by the mainstream science community.”

      Let’s see: corrupt politics, excessive funding, and an uninformed or corrupt news media are probably good places to start.

      Note: if you’re offended by foul language, skip this video. Its a fairly good example of MET office influence on opinion.

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    • #
      Joe Lalonde

      Climate science ONLY focused on 150 years of temperature records and missed the 4.5 billion year history.
      Physical evidence became fantasy and theories became actual facts.

      Should be an interesting year for climate scientists to wiggle their theory to the cold side.

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    • #
      Connolly

      On Friday afternoon, the 7th January 2011 Bob Brown put out the following press release propagandising against dams and for global warming.
      Dams can increase the risk of flooding and impose irreversible changes that damage forests, wetlands, fisheries and farmland, nor should the devastating Queensland floods cause any delay to Murray-Darling reforms, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

      “Dams may prevent smaller floods but can increase damage during exceptionally large floods when severe weather events cause a sudden release of water,” Senator Brown said.

      “Tony Abbott’s plan is ill-conceived.”

      “Australia’s flood history shows that major floods can top dams built in their way.”

      “The bigger the flood the less is their potential flood mitigation effect. Furthermore, the potential mitigation effect of a dam decreases in a downstream direction,” according to the Attorney-General’s Department’s Emergency Management Planning for Floods Affected by Dams.

      “Murray-Darling Basin reforms, to ensure the health of the river and its communities, should be in parliament by the end of the year,” Senator Brown said.

      “Downstream impacts of dams can include the loss of fisheries, poorer water quality and damage to the fertility of farmlands and forests. As well as degrading water quality, rotting vegetation trapped upstream of dams also releases greenhouse gases, contributing to global warming.”

      “Dams and diversions are the main reason why one-third of the world’s freshwater fish species are extinct, endangered or vulnerable,” Senator Brown said.

      “Research by International Rivers also shows many shellfish, frogs, plant and bird species that depend on freshwater habitats are also extinct or at risk as dams reduce biodiversity.”

      On Monday the 10th January Toowoomba was smashed by a wall of water.

      Is Brown’s press release the longest suicide note in Australian political history?

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    • #
      John from CA

      So, if you viewed the video in @37, in addition to the skewed MET temperature chart they are quoted as saying, in a 2007 press release, the cause of the abrupt cooling [and related weather events] was the abrupt shift from El Nino to La Nina.

      We’ve just experienced an even more abrupt shift in 2010. So, either the MET and BOM are not paying attention or they intentionally covered up the logical consequences of a climate event they are fully aware would cause extreme weather events.

      I hope the MSM fries them for it but doubt they will.

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    • #
      JPA Knowles

      CO2 @ No 4

      “I wonder if the Thames will freeze over this year …”

      Running OT but I think freezing is unlikely.
      Back in the 16 and 1800s when the Thames is reported to have frozen over it was a wide, shallow meandering river. London grew up around the lowest fording point. At low tide people gradually built up the ford with stones until there was a definite weir keeping the upstream section fresh and more likely to freeze.
      The old nursery rhyme “London Bridge is falling down” is about the stone bridge built across this weir. Water accelerating through the arches used to erode the stone piers so they clad them in planks of timber. The falling down was a recurring problem.
      They also started building levee embankments and the low-lying land behind was reclaimed and built upon. At high tide large areas of downstream London would flood if the embankments were breached. The Thames, in its narrow deep channel, now flows too fast to freeze and is also tidal again.
      I’m guessing the deep frosts occurred during times of very low humidity and precipitation, later on in the cold cycle so, river flows were minimal.

      In 2011 London has a considerable UHI effect and there are many sewage treatment works returning slightly less cold water to the river.

      Climate will probably become cold enough towards the end of Cycle 24 but the river will keep flowing this time round.

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    • #

      “The reasons why the planet is colder than usual now are that Sun spot activity has been unusually low”

      I agree with the last part, but the first part isn’t correct. The planet just saw it’s second warmest year (2010) since the little ice age. Now back to the last part I agree with – how much warmer would 2010 have been if sunspot activity wasn’t unusually low?

      Socold, we’ve had 300 years of warming thanks to a combination of known and unknown factors. Are you suggesting that a few years of low solar activity ought to wipe out 3 centuries of warming? Think “Heat Content”.

      The only official continuous temperature record since the LIA doesn’t seem to be suggesting that 2010 was the second warmest. How much “cooler” would the 2010 be, if the thermometers on the ground weren’t placed next to concrete and machinery and adjusted up the kazoo?

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      Joe Lalonde

      Jo,

      If the sun is the cause, then all other planets in our solar system would be effected as well. They would also have an Ice Age at slightly different interval due to distance but would all still be having it at the same time.

      Note: According to my wife, I am very, very happy. (My wife bought a t-shirt with this on it.) :-)

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      co2isnotevil

      Joe #44,

      This is not completely correct. The largest influence on the Earth’s transitions between ice ages and intergkacials are orbital and axis variability which is different for each planet. The Sun is responsible for much of the short term, relatively small variability, not the longer term and larger variability.

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      Bulldust

      Going O/T as I am wont to do… probably one of the best articles I have seen on Unleashed was published today summarising the woes of the Euro economies:

      http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/42864.html

      For those that might think there is a glimmer of hope of a US recovery (as suggested by some statistics reported in the last week or two), that will be squashed when the EU zone economies continue to topple. It’s not if, but when…

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      Louis :

      You’re only seeing the surface wind. At night due to radiative cooling of the surface an inversion forms and under that friction eventually slows the wind and no new momentum is added to the surface layer as there is no vertical mixing through the inversion.
      Eventually though if the wind above the inversion is strong enough and the terrain rough enough there may be enough mechanical turbulence to mix through the inversion and the surface wind increases. The Darling Range also gets katabatic winds at night which will then cause enough low level turbulence to mix the near surface layers with the layers above. Seen it lots of times during the 3 happy years I was Base Meteorologist at RAAF Pearce.

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      J.Hansford

      Louis Hissink ‘n others….

      I think the reason given for Saturn having the strongest winds, is lack of turbulence… Because it is furthest from the sun it receives less energy, thus is less turbulent because its Coriolis effect is not dampened by convection effects…. or something to that effect as I un’nerstand it.

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      Ross

      Connolly @ 40. Brown has to an absolute idiot to put out a press release like that , even if he believes what he is saying. 30 poor souls have died and he wants to talk about loss of biodiversity.
      I’m sure the cartoonist on Bishop Hill –Josh would have a field day with these comments.

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      Bulldust

      Ross perhaps a cartoon of Bob running into the floods to savea wallaby while people drift by screaming for help. I think that would sum up the Grren misanthropic bent nicely.

      T’is, however, too sad an event to make mirth on the sidelines.

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      Percival Snodgrass

      Forget Climate Taxes – Climate always Changes, and Man must Adapt.

      http://carbon-sense.com/2009/10/03/climate-always-changing/

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      Brian G Valentine

      The ordinarily methodically sane English, homeland to Newton and Cotes and the great Robert Boyle, took a nose dive in rational thought when it came to AGW.

      The English wanted to continue their tradition of world leadership in “Natural Philosophy” during and after the Cold War, in the field of nuclear energy they have done an admirable job in the applications of nuclear science, although for reasons not entirely understood failed miserably when they chose to lead the AGW parade.

      Dr Courtney is all too familiar with the details of this sad chronicle

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      theeasterlies

      Hi Louis
      I don’t know how long you have lived in Perth but I have lived
      here over 30 years and the easterlies are no different this year
      than they have ever been.In fact there maybe be less this year.I can
      tell how hot it is going to be the following day by how early in the
      evening they start and how long they last in the morning.Start early
      finish late and you are in for a scorcher.I have seen the easterlies
      come up in less than half an hour.Oh and not to forget the flies that
      parasail in on them.:-)
      So far this year we have had few if any days over 40deg usually we have
      had at least a week of over 40′s by now.But we have still got February to
      go yet so won’t hold my breath.

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      Speaking of legal action, I sent this this off to the ABC this afternoon:

      Dear Sir/Madam,

      Please be advised that The Drum forum has repeatedly broken item 4.4 of the ABC Code of Practice in regards to the posting of comments on articles. I am aware of section 7 of the http://www.abc.net.au Conditions of Use.

      In terms of the ABC’s censorship of The Drum, I regard item 7.1 in direct conflict with the ABC’s charter and am offering you a chance to respond to this inconsistency before I initiate more formal proceedings against the ABC.

      Kind regards,
      David Thomson

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      Brian G Valentine

      Well that is admirable Waffle, although I don’t know that there is anything to prevent the ABC from interpreting their Charter anyway they wish.

      When the Soviet Union fell, the editorship of Pravda and Isvetsaya had to do SOMETHING with their lives, didn’t they.

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      Ross

      Apologies for the typing error in 49. I meant to type 10 lost lives ( although I believe the figure is now 12)

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      Connolly

      Ross & Bulldust you are right it isnt the time for calling the Greens out. But Brown’s press release has to be the most asinine and insensitive in Australian political history. And thats saying something! Comes a time.

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      Rob Arnold

      I heard David Karoly on ABC TV state that the extremely heavy rainfall in SE Queensland was due to a combination of La Nina conditions associated with high ocean temperatures in the Indian Ocean due to AGW. My understanding is that re-radiated heat due to CO2 in the atmosphere can not heat the oceans. Any comment?

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      Bulldust

      I just came across this linked at WUWT. Here’s some comedy we can all enjoy:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cdxaxJNs15s

      “Global Warming Panic Explained”

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      Bulldust

      Here is Karoly in the SMH:

      http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/all-the-wrong-stars-aligned-for-perfect-storms-20110111-19mrr.html

      Note these paragraphs:

      ”Australia has been known for more than 100 years as a land of droughts and flooding rains, but what climate change means is Australia becomes a land of more droughts and worse flooding rains,” David Karoly, from Melbourne University’s school of earth sciences, said.

      Professor Karoly stressed individual events could not be attributed to climate change. But the wild extremes being experienced by the continent were in keeping with scientists’ forecasts of more flooding associated with increased heavy rain and more droughts as a result of high temperatures and more evaporation.

      ”On some measures it’s the strongest La Nina in recorded history … [but] we also have record-high ocean temperatures in northern Australia which means more moisture evaporating into the air,” he said. ”And that means lots of heavy rain.”

      Wait… so increasing floods and droughts both because of climate change, but individual events cannot be tied to climate change. Also climate change is to lead to more rain, but somehow that is also going to cause more drought. This poor chap’s brain is as Picassoed as Lewandowsky’s.

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      Llew Jones

      Rob Arnold @ 58

      Rob here are some choice cameos from history(dated)that would indicate that Karoly is a complete ignoramus if not a fool. That he should offer such nonsense when floods of this magnitude were occurring in Queensland when the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere were about 284ppm which of course was virtually the same as it was 600 years before the industrial revolution. Karoly it seems is the sort of ACC propagandist who would say anything to support an hypothesis that is built on a flimsy foundation. No doubt the ABC interviewer was just as ignorant or a believer in the same religion.

      1824: John Oxley, early explorer, mentioned evidence of an inundation which he discovered on 19 September 1824 in an area north of the junction of the Bremer with the Brisbane : “the starboard bank an elevated flat of rich land, declining to a point where had evidently by its sandy shore and pebbly surface, been at some time washed by an inundation; a flood would be too weak an expression to use for a collection of water rising to the full height (full fifty feet) which the appearance of the shore here renders possible.” (Ref 2)

      1825: Major Edmund Lockyer mentioned the evidence of a large flood while in the area of today’s Mount Crosby pumping station – “marks of drift grass and pieces of wood washed up on the sides of the banks and up into the branches of the trees, marked the flood to rise here of one hundred feet”. Lockyer’s descendant, Nicholas Lockyer, in 1919 made the following remarks: “the official record of the flood level of the river on the 4th February 1893 at the Pumping Station, the site of which is within a mile of Lockyer’s camp, was 94 feet 10.5 inches. His remarks would seem to suggest that between Oxley’s visit in September 1824 and his [Major Edmund Lockyer] own in September 1825, the river had experienced a flood as great as that subsequently experienced in February 1893.” (Ref 2)

      Mar 1836: Brisbane: Commandant of the Moreton Bay Settlement, Captain Foster Fyans, wrote that “we had constant rain from the 8th. To the 12th. March, and I am happy to say, notwithstanding the river rose about 12 feet we sustained no injury or consequence, and those many parts of the cornfields were flooded”. Murdoch Wales comments that this was in fact only three feet lower in the central city area than the 1974 flood. (Ref 2.)

      There are some more choice ACC slayers here:

      http://www.bom.gov.au/hydro/flood/qld/fld_history/brisbane_history.shtml

      And here estimated concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere from 1000 AD to 2007:

      http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/environment/co2table.html

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      manalive

      Rob Arnold (58),

      My understanding is that re-radiated heat due to CO2 in the atmosphere can not heat the oceans. Any comment?

      I don’t know, but it’s a question I would like see definitively answered.

      It’s difficult to believe that a rise of a fraction of a degree C in the temperature of the atmosphere (whatever the cause) can have any measurable effect on 1.3 billion cubic kilometres of seawater.
      My understanding is that it can penetrate only millimeters (if that) and that ocean heat content is, surprise-surprise, derived from direct solar radiation and any heat transfer is in the opposite direction.

      If you haven’t already seen it, this article may be of interest.

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      Matty

      RE: Bulldust #60

      I was waiting for one of our desk-bound research grant bandits to jump in with some AGW crap and it’s Karoly. They had been quiet on it so far mainly out of trepidation I reckon. People have been told ad-nauseum that drought was synonomous with warming and so in such a time as this I thought they wouldn’t try it on. He obviously couldn’t help himself but the media aren’t knocking his door down it seems. Better judgement?

      Bob Brown will be itching but restrained – he knows Bolt will jump all over him.

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      socold

      “Socold, we’ve had 300 years of warming thanks to a combination of known and unknown factors. Are you suggesting that a few years of low solar activity ought to wipe out 3 centuries of warming? Think “Heat Content”.”

      The claim was that the globe is cooling. That claim is not true. As I pointed out – if anything the temperature of 2010 suggests warming continues. If you want to argue that it *will* cool, but not yet (eg ‘a few years of low solar activity’) fine. But that’s very different from claiming it’s already started cooling.

      “The only official continuous temperature record since the LIA doesn’t seem to be suggesting that 2010 was the second warmest.”

      You forgot to mention that record is not global…

      We don’t need a continuous temperature record. We have UAH that shows since 1979 the 2nd warmest year on record is 2010. And we know from other records that the 1980s were warmer than any previous decade since the LIA. So we know that 2010 is the 2nd warmest year since the LIA.

      “How much “cooler” would the 2010 be, if the thermometers on the ground weren’t placed next to concrete and machinery and adjusted up the kazoo?”"

      Are you claiming that the UAH satellite record of the lower troposphere is biased by concrete and machinery and adjustments?

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      Mark

      Socold #64

      Sorry, but Phil Jones begs to differ witth you about continued warming. When are you going to admit that the climate is perfectly capable of dramatic changes without any assistance from homo sapiens?

      Don you really desire poverty whilst Robert Mugabe shops for his next fleet of customised S class Mercs?

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      manalive

      socold (64):

      Are you claiming that the UAH satellite record of the lower troposphere is biased by concrete and machinery and adjustments?

      The UAH and GISTEMP records 1979-2011 do show a divergence.

      It is the unexplained pre-1980 ‘adjustments’ which make Hansen’s global record worthless.

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      manalive

      socold,

      If CO2 is now the overwhelming climate forcing agent, explain this.

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      Louis Hissink

      manalive @ #62

      The reradiated IR of a gas that is at a lower temperature than the body it is radiating to (warmer earth) cannot warm that target body, the earth, especially when the IR initially came from the warmer earth.

      But the downwelling IR is real – it just does not come from “greenhouse” gases

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      John Brookes

      Mike Borgelt@47: I lived in the Perth Hills for a few years, and it was always a great pleasure to get the cool easterlies blowing strongly on what, for the people down on the coastal plain, were hot and windless nights.

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      Percival Snodgrass

      “John Brookes” STILL suffering from the effects of excessive Christmas SPIRITS……

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      John Brookes

      Jeez Percival, I’d hate to see the sort of reaction you’d give if I’d said something remotely controversial!

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      John Brookes

      manalive@67:

      I can summarise for you, if you like.

      I say that the Aussie’s lost the ashes because England were a better team. You then show Mike Hussey playing a glorious shot, and think that somehow you’re constructing an argument.

      It is just silliness, and if that is how you want to play the game, go ahead, but just save everyone some time by adding, “I know this is silly” to the bottom of your posts, so we know not to take them seriously.

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      Baa Humbug

      Oh brother. I wanted to do a bit of relaxing blogging after a full day of flood cleaning and I come across a comment by a lemming and my temperature rises.

      In response to Jos comment at #43 which said….

      “The only official continuous temperature record since the LIA doesn’t seem to be suggesting that 2010 was the second warmest.”

      We have an obvious AGW alarmist meme lemming called socold responding at#64
      with….

      “You forgot to mention that record is not global…”

      I’m not in the mood to be diplomatic at the moment. So tell me socold, did you figure out that response all by yourself or did you have to trawl through your favourite fraudulent alarmists blogs to help you?

      In fact, a single long standing official temperature record spanning 350 years IS THE BEST WAY TO DETERMINE THE EFFECTS OF ACO2.

      Unless of course you think CO2 over central England has taken a holiday and hasn’t caused any warming.

      Do you not see that if AGW is indeed GLOBAL, it should manifest itself GLOBALLY. That means, an extra X ppm of CO2 in one place should warm that place at the same rate as X ppm of CO2 at another place. I mean, this is settled science isn’t it? Basic stuff kids learn at school yes? Science we’ve known since Arhenius right? CO2 over Chicago traps heat same as CO2 over London or CO2 over Sydney. Settled, done, only deniers in the pay of big oil argue against this and you’re tired of explaining it to denialist trolls correct?

      If we were talking about a period of say 10 or 15 years, your comment would be acceptable, but the CET spans nearly 12 full climate preiods of 30 years each. If there is one place on earth where the CO2 signal can be detected, this place is it.

      Records from a single point are not contaminated with averaging, homogenizing or adjusting as is the records from multiple points.

      To be able to discount the CET records, you need to show what other factors particular to CE may have countered the all powerful effects of CO2 which we’ve known about since Arhenius.

      Now be a good boy for me and run along to your favourite fraudulant alarmist clan meetings and come back with an answer for me.

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      Joe Lalonde

      #48,

      So Saturn needs not to rotate?
      Bad science again…
      The speed of rotation determines the amount of wind energy available.

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      Patrick

      RE: Silgilly, post #9:

      Mankind is obviously to blame for using too much sunlight. We need a government edict to force the population to spend more time indoors in the dark and reduce our solar footprint. Alternatively, a new tax will be introduced based on the number of hours we spend in daylight while awake. We must become nocturnal in order to save the planet for our future generations! Someone call Greenpeace and the WWF!

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      JPA Knowles

      Re posts 17 & 18
      Socold, the UK Met Office problem is that beyond 5 days their forecastes are as good as those from a drunk down the pub.
      Neither party accounts for solar flares, Sun/Earth magnetic effects on Cosmic Ray penetration, cloud cover, aerosols, ocean thermal capacity etc.
      I’d not expect the drunk to be correct but at £100m+ p.a. would it not be fair to ask the Met in October whether they thought it was going to be above or below freezing during the Christmas holiday break?

      Jo’s post suggests that the UK Govt, BBC and Met Office are starting to question each other, back peddle and invent stories. Does this not cause you to ask why?

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      socold

      “In fact, a single long standing official temperature record spanning 350 years IS THE BEST WAY TO DETERMINE THE EFFECTS OF ACO2.”

      Nope you are wrong. The issue is global warming, so stick to the globe please. Not what is convenient for your politics.

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      socold

      “Jo’s post suggests that the UK Govt, BBC and Met Office are starting to question each other, back peddle and invent stories. Does this not cause you to ask why?”

      Jos post is BS? That could be it

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      socold

      “If CO2 is now the overwhelming climate forcing agent, explain this.”

      Who claimed CO2 is the overwhelming climate forcing agent on a 10 year timescale? Not me. Not scientists.

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      socold

      “Sorry, but Phil Jones begs to differ witth you about continued warming.”

      Actually he agrees with me. Global warming continues.

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      socold

      “The UAH and GISTEMP records 1979-2011 do show a divergence.”

      Irrelevant. UAH shows 2010 to be the second warmest year on record irregardless of what GISTEMP shows.

      Just an inconvenient fact you guys can’t accept. So you all try to deny it using various tricks, including trying to blame it on UHI or adjustments. As if UHI can explain the satellite record! What are you talking about? Sky cities don’t actually exist!

      And with Dr Roy Spencer running the UAH satellite record you can’t even resort to your smeary fraud exuses! Which you would no doubt employ on mass if you could get away with it.

      You have no excuses left. Just accept facts. 2010 was the 2nd warmest year since the LIA. Global warming….

      Continues.

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      Even accepting AGW science as-is, where is the expected 0.2C/decade warming gone? What mechanism has stopped it precisely to the point that we have to waste time discussing how many hundredths of a degree 2010 might be warmer or cooler than the previous 12 years?

      At best, we have to wait another year to see if the trend shows up, or doesn’t.

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      John Smith

      This reminds of the kid whose hand was caught in the cookie jar just before the cookie was snatched and eaten. The Met Office is acting just like the kid with the hand in the cookie jar, except that they predicted warm weather rather than cold and when that is wrong they just claim is out of context or whatever is the excuse of the day.

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      I said to my missus back in July that it would be a cold one because of the SOI figures at the time (see Jo’s post on this). The Siberian Swans also arrived in the UK three weeks early, which is a portent of a cold winter. Independent forecasters get it right, the Met Office get it so wrong again.

      Whilst our councils have been running out of gritting salt, I stockpiled up on mine to keep my sloping drive clear – of course the minor road I live on was an ice skating rink

      Slingo wants more money for a new super computer, but it would still be running the same flawed models. Perhaps Slingo should be reminded of the first rule of computing: Garbage in = Garbage out

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      West Houston

      So, either the UK Met Office got it wrong and it’s a shame that so many people were inconvenienced, stranded or DIED of exposure because they were not prepared OR…they hid their true forecast – and cost lives as a result! The former is incompetent, the latter is – IMHO – criminal.

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