Met Office responds to Mail on Sunday article

Following on from my last blog post about David Rose from the Mail on Sunday telling us to forget about global warming I will provide the full statement from the Met Office that was given to Rose before the article was published (he just chose to ignore it):

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.”

Furthermore, the Met Office were able to confirm that:

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.

As well as clarifying Rose’s assertions about the possible impact of the Sun on global temperatures (Rose suggested reduced Sun activity was about to drag us into an ice age):

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).

Just another example of a journalist having the facts to hands, but choosing to ignore them in order to pursue an editorial agenda.

Mail on Sunday encourages us to ‘forget global warming’

Apparently the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit have released some figures that will prove ‘an inconvenient challenge’ for the ‘supposed “consensus” on man-made global warming’. Naturally, the Mail on Sunday online article provides not one link to what it is they are actually talking about (seriously, the busiest ‘news’ website in the world cannot even use simple Internet etiquette) but the writer – David Rose – seems convinced that this data completely changes every piece of evidence ever collated to support the greenhouse model of global warming.

Those of you with a good memory might remember that the Daily Mail have covered the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit before when hackers targeted the unit and released internal emails supposedly showing that the unit had been massaging figures to maintain the illusion that global warming was real. Now it seems that their figures are to be trusted because they happen to coincide with the newspaper’s editorial belief that global warming is not real.

However, before this can be established we need to know exactly what data has been released by the CRU and how the Mail on Sunday has arrived at its conclusions. Sadly, thanks to the newspaper’s complete lack of transparency we can only hazard a guess because no MailOnline / Daily Mail / Mail on Sunday writer seems to have permission (or the decency) to link to any external website (unless they are cut and pasting PR copy, of course).

Visiting the CRU website shows that the most recently updated information sheet was updated back in January 2011 and states that:

The period 2001-2010 (0.44°C above 1961-90 mean) was 0.20°C warmer than the 1991-2000 decade (0.24°C above 1961-90 mean). The warmest year of the entire series has been 1998, with a temperature of 0.55°C above the 1961-90 mean. After 1998, the next nine warmest years in the series are all in the decade 2001-2010. During this decade, only 2008 is not in the ten warmest years. Even though 2008 was the coldest year of the 21st century it was still the 12th warmest year of the whole record.

This time series is compiled jointly by the Climatic Research Unit and the UK Met. Office Hadley Centre. Increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere due to human activities are most likely the underlying cause of warming in the 20th century.

Presumably, the figures that the Daily Mail has got hold of must completely contradict the figures that they have released previously; or that newspaper must have arrived at a very different conclusion to the report’s authors.

The latest press release issued by the CRU (October 2011)- at least the latest one that I could find on their website – seems pretty equivocal:

The University of East Anglia notes the provisional findings of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature group (BEST) that any doubts about the previous peer-reviewed, published research showing that the world has been warming are unfounded.

If the BEST studies are confirmed by independent peer review, they will further strengthen the scientific consensus built over the last 30 years by groups around the world, including our Climatic Research Unit (CRU). They will also vindicate – once more – those in CRU unfairly accused of scientific fraud following the theft of their personal emails in November 2009. The university has stood by the science and stood by CRU throughout.

Prof Phil Jones, research director of CRU, said: “I look forward to reading the finalised papers once they have been reviewed and published. These provisional findings seem encouraging and echo our own results, particularly our conclusion that the impact of urban heat islands on the overall trend of global temperature is minimal.”

If the figures David Rose has found are that groundbreaking then the least he could do is point us in the direction of them. Instead he describes any climate change skeptic as a ‘leading climate scientist’, or ‘solar expert’ or ‘one of America’s most eminent climate experts’ whilst relegating the Met Office’s statement (‘But yesterday a Met Office spokesman insisted its models were still valid’) to one throwaway line without any fancy introduction.

You see it’s simple really, all of the graphs put together over the years by scientists who have demonstrated beyond question that global temperatures have risen in the last 30 years have now been disproved by those same scientists releasing another graph. The sole reason for believing this latest graph and disbelieving all the others seems to be that it roughly corresponds to the prejudices of the author and the newspaper that they write for.

And it’s even more simple than that. Everyone who agrees with David Rose’s view is ‘the very best leading expert in the whole wide world’ whilst anyone with any different viewpoint is not even worth mentioning.

This is ‘journalism’ at its very worst and the longer publications are allowed to publish propaganda rather than at the very least flirt with established scientific fact, the longer such manufactured controversies will be allowed to flourish.

Incidentally, The New Journalist has now been launched so if someone more scientifically-minded and patient than I wants to track down this Met Office report and cover it for The New Journalist that would really be good.


Over at Daily Mail online HQ is motivation to keep plugging away:

On and on

Bins, climate change and another editorial which just demonstrates that the Mail has given up even the slightest pretence of being a newspaper and instead is happy with direct propaganda:

As former Cabinet Secretary Lord Turnbull said this week in a truly withering critique, ministers and their officials have deliberately ignored the huge doubts surrounding climate change science.

Elevating one man’s ill-informed opinion as reason to doubt a very well established scientific consensus is just lunacy. So, I’ll follow the example of Bob Marley (just without the legacy of being a creative genius):

“The people who were trying to make this world worse are not taking the day off. Why should I?” – Bob Marley

Ignorance is a tabloid’s best friend

Take someone mildly well-known, add in some uneducated comments about climate change being a big scam and you have the perfect article for a tabloid newspaper. Open up the comments section and you have the perfect chance to let readers claim that said article is just another example of how the truth about climate change as a tax-raising con is finally being uncovered.

It’s kind of fitting that the Daily Mail is playing such an active role in the destruction of the planet really, kind of sums up the newspaper.

Anyway, here is the headline: ”We must stop pandering to climate scaremongers’: Ex-Civil Service chief blasts ministers for global warming ‘evangelism”. The article then gives this idiot a soapbox before finding time at the end to point out that he might just be talking an absolute pile of shite:

Dr Bob Ward, a climate change policy expert at the London School of Economics, said Lord Turnbull’s paper was ‘riddled with basic scientific errors’.

‘He misunderstands the science and the nature of risk,’ he said. ‘No one denies that there is uncertainty in the future impacts of climate change. But because the impacts are potentially so huge and economically damaging, if we wait until we are sure it will be too late to do anything about it.’

A quick glance at the best rated comments:

Funny, even our badly educated population can see that this is a massive tax raising scam. Yet the politicos and people who live in Brighton think it’s all for real !…. Little by little the scam is being exposed.

– Dan away from la merde, Brittany, 9/6/2011 6:28
Click to rate Rating 760

Here, here! At last someone’s talking sense. The only reason I can see that governments follow all this climate change claptrap is that it’s another way of extracting huge taxes out of their already over-taxed citizens.

– Judith, King’s Lynn, England, 9/6/2011 6:28
Click to rate Rating 672

At last – a common sense realistic approach to combat the beliefs of the global warming alarmists. Global temperatures have been rising and some of the increase is caused by rising levels of CO2 but be realistic about the causes since there is a mountain of evidence about the role of the of the sun, cosmic rays, clouds and oceans in climate the change debate – man made CO2 represents less than 0.1% of the total. It seems that global warming is the new religion and anyone who questions the causes is deemed a heretic. Scientists and the sheep who jump on the global warming bandwagon and deliberately mislead the public should be ashamed of themselves In the Sixties we were told of a population explosion that would lead to global starvation then we were warned the world was running out of natural resources. When global temperatures began to dip in the Seventies many eminent scientists warned that we faced a new Ice Age.

– Stingray, Durham, 9/6/2011 6:40
Click to rate Rating 549

climate change is a bit like the emperers new clothes, everybody who can profit from the doom theories climbs on board and squeals like a little pig whenever anyone dares to disagree. The simple fact is that we are merely the fleas on the back of this planet , yes we need to pollute less and breed less but that is for own good , our planet can merely shrug its shoulders and destroy thousands of us whenever it wants . One volcano can pollute the atmoshere more than we can in years in just a few minutes . Put climate change where it belongs and get a grip on the moneymaking chaos these policies have become

– kayerunrig, lincoln, 9/6/2011 5:59
Click to rate Rating 511

Slowly but surely the truth is coming out. Man-made global warming is a political scam devised to once again confuse and prey on the fears of the ordinary person who havent been given all the facts. It was setup as a mechanism to allow the funding of a global government (through taxation of ‘carbon’ in wealthy countries). They needed to do this so that everyone believed we were all doomed unless we did something about it and (crucially) willingly allowed the government to implement the taxes. Once again, the government has deliberately mis-led the masses for its own benefit – this is treasonous. The fact is, several hundred years ago, it was hotter than it is now, yet we survived…. Amazing how people dont even see truth when its right in front of them. Its all a scam – wake up sheeple, WAKE UP!

– Alan, Geneva, 9/6/2011 5:55
Click to rate Rating 480

The voice in the wilderness but like all pariahs he is doomed to be ignored. The climate industry is as artificial as its arguments but it does make money and no scientist interested in a career and funding can afford to state anything that challenges the current charlatan orthodoxy so readily embraced by governments and their lickspittles. I have yet to read of any valid theory supported by evidence man has contributed to climate change. The chief difficulty being no one as yet can quantify a world temperature average with which to compare findings.

– robin, horsham UK, 9/6/2011 6:23
Click to rate Rating 424

This really isn’t helping my fragile state of mind.