Met Office in the Media: 16 February 2014, response by Professor Mat Collins and the Met Office

17 02 2014

An article by David Rose appeared yesterday in the Mail on Sunday entitled: ‘No, global warming did NOT cause the storms, says one of the Met Office’s most senior experts’

In it he says that Mat Collins, Professor in Climate Systems at Exeter University, ‘appears to contradict’ the report released by the Met Office last weekend and that he ‘declined to comment on his difference in opinion’ with one of the report’s authors, Dame Julia Slingo.

This is not the case and there is no disagreement.

The report by the Met Office states that “As yet, there is no definitive answer on the possible contribution of climate change to the recent storminess, rainfall amounts and the consequent flooding. This is in part due to the highly variable nature of UK weather and climate.”   This agrees with the latest IPCC Report that states: “Substantial uncertainty and thus low confidence remains in projecting changes in Northern Hemisphere storm tracks, especially for the North Atlantic basin.”

This is the basis for Prof Collins’ comment and means that we are not sure, yet, how the features that bring storms across the Atlantic to the UK – the jet-stream and storm track – might be impacted by climate change. As the Met Office report highlights for this year’s extreme conditions, there are many competing factors – from changes in the winds of the upper atmosphere to disturbed weather over Indonesia.

What the Met Office report – and indeed the IPCC – does say is that there is increasing evidence that extreme daily rainfall rates are becoming more intense. It is clear that global warming has led to an increase in moisture in the atmosphere – with about four per cent more moisture over the oceans than in the 1970s – which means that when conditions are favourable to the formation of storms there is a greater risk of intense rainfall. This is where climate change has a role to play in this year’s flooding.

With respect to changes in storminess, the good news is that recent advances in climate science are starting to pay dividends. Improved spatial resolution in models – that means that they can model weather and climate in more spatial detail – is allowing the models to represent some of the key factors that drive regional weather patterns. As the Met Office report states ‘With a credible modelling system in place it should now be possible to perform scientifically robust assessments of changes in storminess, the degree to which they are related to natural variability and the degree to which there is a contribution from human-induced climate change.’


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112 responses

17 02 2014
David Johnson

Why compare current moisture % increase over the oceans with the 1970s? How does it compare with other decades?

18 02 2014
Met Office Press Office

Hello David
Atmospheric humidity is difficult to observe and so the assessments are restricted to post 1970s. The best estimates of recent changes come from satellite measurements but they are restricted to the late 1990s onwards.

21 02 2014
Anthony Lawton

I wonder if you could point me to the relevant time series data. My understanding is that warming has flat-lined in recent years (is this right?); and I am wondering if moisture increase has been steady since the 1970s and continues, or whether it occurred early in the period and has now steadied?

17 02 2014
bruvvereccles

Is this the same Met Office that predicted a dry winter?

18 02 2014
climatebeagle

“For the December-January-February period as a whole there is a slight signal for below-average precipitation.”

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/pdf/m/8/A3_plots-precip-DJF-2.pdf

19 02 2014
nuwurld

Hi, climatebeagle, good factual reportage. Ties in well with;

“As the Met Office report states ‘With a credible modelling system in place it should now be possible to perform scientifically robust assessments of changes in storminess, the degree to which they are related to natural variability and the degree to which there is a contribution from human-induced climate change.’”

That is a massive extrapolation, when the climate models incorporating human-induction have no predictive value.

Geoff.

17 02 2014
Erik Acer

The Met Office statement does not link to the Rose article they are criticising.

Here’s what the Met Office statement starts off with:

“An article by David Rose appeared yesterday in the Mail on Sunday entitled: ‘No, global warming did NOT cause the storms, says one of the Met Office’s most senior experts’.
In it he says that Mat Collins, Professor in Climate Systems at Exeter University, ‘appears to contradict’ the report released by the Met Office last weekend …”

But David Rose said no such thing! He said that Mat Collins seemed to contradict Julia Slingo’s statement to the press, ‘all the evidence suggests that climate change has a role to play’.
The Rose article did not even mention the Met Office report released last weekend.

17 02 2014
Stephen Wilde

It is climate change but in the cooling direction rather than warming.

See here:

http://www.newclimatemodel.com/update-2014-visual-proof-of-global-cooling/

19 02 2014
nuwurld

Hi Stephen, always pleased to read your sensible and level headed replies,

Regards Geo(ff)

17 02 2014
omnologos

There are some missing elements that are needed to understand the situation.

First of all the Daily Mail article: http://www.dailymail.co. uk/ news/article-2560310/No-global-warming-did-NOT-cause-storms-says-one-Met-Offices-senior-experts.html (all links broken to avoid automatic spam filtering)

Mat Collins, a Professor in climate systems at Exeter University, said the storms have been driven by the jet stream – the high-speed current of air that girdles the globe – which has been ‘stuck’ further south than usual. “There is no evidence that global warming can cause the jet stream to get stuck in the way it has this winter. If this is due to climate change, it is outside our knowledge.”

There is no mention of the Met Office report in the Daily Mail article, only of Dame Julia Slingo

Q1: Are those the actual words (or a fair representation of the actual words) used by Prof Collins?

Then there are the statements issued to the media on the 8/9 Feb weekend by Dame Julia Slingo, which statements the Daily Mail article refers to. Among them, as quoted by the BBC: http://www.bbc.co. uk/ news/uk-politics-26084625

Dame Julia Slingo said the variable UK climate meant there was “no definitive answer” to what caused the storms. “But all the evidence suggests there is a link to climate change,” she added.

Q2: Are those the actual words (or a fair representation of the actual words) used by Dame Julia?

Assuming the answers to Q1 and Q2 are “yes” in both cases, may I point to page 22 of the Met Office report:

The persistence of the recent storminess is unusual, and although clustering of storms is quite common, the continued run of deep depressions, through December, January and on into February, is not. It is this continued run of storms that has created the exceptional flooding conditions experienced in the Somerset Levels, for example.

Therefore:

Q3: If flooding has been created by the storms persistence, and the storms have been driven by the “stuck” jet stream, and there is no evidence that global warming / climate change can cause the jet stream to get stuck in the way it has this winter, on what basis can “all the evidence” suggest there is a link between the storms and climate change? (apart from a generalistic “there is a link between any storm and climate change” – something that would make the 8-9 Feb statements totally disconnected from the Met Office report)

Alternatively:

Q4: If all the evidence suggests there is a link between the storms and climate change, how is it possible that it is outside of our knowledge if climate change has caused the jet stream to the stuck in the way it has, therefore driving the storms towards Britain and causing the flooding?

Thank you for your explanation.

19 02 2014
nuwurld

omnologos, is it me, or did you just pose four questions to our new and active press office team that remain unanswered?

Regards, Geoff

17 02 2014
Stephen Wilde

It is climate change but in the cooling direction rather than warming.

See here:

http://www.newclimatemodel.com/update-2014-visual-proof-of-global-cooling/

17 02 2014
jauntycyclist

Its no good trying to build a co2 deathstar to frighten the children on predictions from non validated models? If the models predictions were any good ie above 51% wouldn’t you be making a fortune at the bookies?

Is it not of concern that total reliance on these £33m models kept COBRA in the dark until the storms were immanent so they always playing catch up?

without validation of the models policy makers have no need to pay any attention to the predictions coming out of these models and certainly they cannot be the bases upon which to plan policy especially taxation.

non validated models are fine as long as people do not claim they are validated so ‘true’.

Any search online finds posts on boards back in aug-oct 2013 of people predicting the storms both in time and strength without use of these models.

I feel its my duty to speak up because i’m shocked by what i see going on ie non validated model worship.

19 02 2014
nuwurld

jauntycyclist, good call.

17 02 2014
tcprag

David Rose 10 MO (JS) 0

17 02 2014
Redgoblin

Reblogged this on Pillow Walker and commented:
It wouldn’t surprise me if climate change was a direct cause of the floods, but as we all know weather is a dynamic system. To deny it out right like many of our right wing MPs and their newspapers do is however puerile.

19 02 2014
nuwurld

Climate change is a cause of the floods. The climate is and always was subject to change. Natural variation encompasses these effects. Nothing here hasn’t happened before.

Regards,
Geoff

17 02 2014
grumpydenier

So that’s another one ‘silenced’ then.

18 02 2014
Peter Jackson

Unfortunately Mail readers don’t visit the Met office site very often! Will a PROMINENT retraction be made in the Mail to expose this serial misinformer?

18 02 2014
omnologos

Peter Jackson – the Met Office has responded to David Rose in this post explaining Collins’ words are in agreement with a Met Office report that David Rose did not mention.

Rose’s article is about the still-unexplained alleged (via Twitter) agreement between Collins and Slingo, whose words have found no place in this post – in fact Dame Julia’s phrase “But all the evidence suggests there is a link to climate change” is nowhere in this blog (site) at all.

It’d be difficult, on that basis, to get any retraction published, as the Met Office has specifically avoided Rose’s point.

18 02 2014
Berynn Schwerdt

Dame Julia’s phrase “But all the evidence suggests there is a link to climate change” is nowhere in this blog (site) at all.

Let’s set it all down, then.

Dame Julia Slingo said:

“Of course, as yet there can be no definitive answer on the particular events that we have seen this winter, but if we look at the broader base of evidence then we see things that support the premise that climate change has been making a contribution….”

“…In a nutshell, while there is no definitive answer for the current weather patterns that we have seen, all the evidence suggests that climate change has a role to play in it….”

“…There is indeed as far as I can see no evidence to counter the premise that a warmer world will lead to more intense daily and hourly heavy rain events.”

Daily Mail on Mat Collins:

“There is no evidence that global warming can cause the jet stream to get stuck in the way it has this winter. If this is due to climate change, it is outside our knowledge….”

‘Prof Collins made clear that he believes it is likely global warming could lead to higher rainfall totals, because a warmer atmosphere can hold more water.’

Met Office response:

‘What the Met Office report – and indeed the IPCC – does say is that there is increasing evidence that extreme daily rainfall rates are becoming more intense. It is clear that global warming has led to an increase in moisture in the atmosphere – with about four per cent more moisture over the oceans than in the 1970s – which means that when conditions are favourable to the formation of storms there is a greater risk of intense rainfall. This is where climate change has a role to play in this year’s flooding.’

Slingo and Collins agree that inreased precipitation is consistent with global warming. Neither attribute the behaviour of the jet streams to global warming.

There is no disagreement.

IPCC FAR, 1990 – Equilibrium expriments with GCMs suggest an increase in global-mean precipitation as one might expect from the associated increase in atmospheric temperature. However
the spatial details of the changes aie highly uncertain.

IPCC SAR, 1995 – All model simulations, whether they were forced with increased concentrations of greenhouse gases and aerosols or with increased concentrations of greenhouse gases alone, show the following features; ….an enhanced global mean hydrological cycle, and increased precipitation and soil moisture in high latitudes in winter. All these changes are associated with identifiable physical mechanisms.

IPCC TAR, 2001 – It is likely that: precipitation will increase over northern midlatitude regions in winter and over northern high latitude regions and Antarctica in both summer and winter.

For regions where daily precipitation intensities have been analysed (e.g., Europe, North America, South Asia, Sahel, southern Africa, Australia and the South Pacific) extreme precipitation intensity may increase.

IPCC AR4, 2007 – Annual precipitation is very likely to increase in most of northern Europe and decrease in most of the Mediterranean area. In central Europe, precipitation is likely to increase in winter but decrease in summer. Extremes of daily precipitation are very likely to increase in northern Europe.

18 02 2014
omnologos

Nice effort Berynn but it’s meaningless. One the points is exactly why the Met Office didn’t try to go down the same route.

If things were that simple, the contents of your comment would have been in the blog post.

Remember, JS said something accompanying a MO report. DR said MC’s words contradicted JS, and the MO blog posted an argument on how MC’s words agreed with the MO report…something nobody had ever said anything against.

All the evidence suggests that anything weather-wise can be explained post-facto in relation to climate change. We don’t need no Chief Scientist of the Met Office to understand that.

19 02 2014
nuwurld

omnologos, great answer!

Geoff

18 02 2014
jbenton2013

The only “misinformer” around here is Slingo.

18 02 2014
jbenton2013

This is a new low for the Met Office. Yet again more obfuscation and spin in an attempt to extract Slingo from her exaggerations. Time to retire and let a real scientist take over, preferably not one indoctrinated in the Met Office CAGW propaganda.

Also, despite asking for data in an earlier article to support Peter Stott’s claims in several interviews last month of links between global warming and flooding in he has failed to produce anything.

It’s long past time this overblown quango was defunded.

18 02 2014
Met Office Press Office

John
The Met Office is a Trading Fund within the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Every day we deliver over 4 million individual products for the UK public, Government, our Armed Forces, and businesses as well as countless other customers around the globe. Operating on a commercial basis to minimise demands on public funds, we work to agreed Government targets paying a dividend back to Government.
Our Revenue in 2012/13 rose 4.4% to a record £204.9 million, and our operating profit grew by 35% to £12.3 million.

18 02 2014
jbenton2013

So what you are saying is that the taxpayers will not be required to provide any funding whatsoever for any Met Office activities?

18 02 2014
jbenton2013

Still waiting for Peter Stott’s data linking flooding with global warming. That’s been over three weeks now. Makes you think the emperor hath no clothes.

18 02 2014
18 02 2014
jbenton2013

Met Office Press Office

I asked for data not hand waving nonsense and bland statements filled with maybe, could, possibly etc. I had to laugh when Mr Stott claims he has spent his whole career doing attribution studies. If that’s all he’s come up with in nearly 40 years he’s very lucky to be employed on the public purse, because if he’d worked for a private company he’d have been out on his ear long ago.

I’m just going to have to conclude I was right all along, Mr Stott doesn’t have ANY empirical data (models are not data) to offer, just vague suggestions his models will improve. Oh dear.

19 02 2014
Met Office Press Office

John
You could try the papers referenced in the report:
Jones et al., 2012: An assessment of changes in seasonal and annual extreme rainfall in the UK between 1961 and 2009. International Journal of Climatology, 33, 1178-1194;
Maraun et al. 2008: United Kingdom daily precipitation intensity: improved early data, error estimates and an update from 2000 to 2006. International Journal of Climatology, 28, 833-842
Allan and Soden, 2008: Atmospheric Warming and the Amplification of Precipitation Extremes, Science, 321, 1481-1484, doi:10.1126/science.1160787.
Goswami et al., 2006: Increasing Trend of Extreme Rain Events over India in a Warming Environmental Science, 314, 1442-1445, DOI: 10.1126/science.1132027
Lei et al., 2011: Exploring the Interplay between Natural Decadal Variability and Anthropogenic Climate Change in Summer Rainfall over China. Part I: Observational Evidence. J. Climate, 24, 4584–4599, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/2010JCLI3794.1
Lenderink and Van Meijgaard 2008: Increase in hourly precipitation extremes beyond expectations from temperature changes. Nature Geoscience, 1, 511–514. doi:10.1038/ngeo262

18 02 2014
19 02 2014
Bob Smith

Thanks for that Carbon Brief article, very interesting to hear about advances in the science.

19 02 2014
jbenton2013

Met Office Press Office

I could try the papers referenced in the report, in fact I had already done so. Unfortunately, as I suspect you already know, there is not a shred of data in any of these papers which supports Peter Stott’s claims that the increased flooding, or any other “extreme” weather events we have been seeing is in any way the result of AGW.

What I do see is yet more modelled results and molested data. If that’s all you, or Mr Stott, can point to then I was clearly correct in assuming the Emperor hath no clothes.

19 02 2014
jbenton2013

Surely the time has come for Peter Stott and Julia Slingo to issue a fulsome apology for misleading the public and politicians by inferring the “extreme weather events” are the result of AGW.

To mislead the nation in such an egregious manner without a shred of credible empirical evidence is already encouraging the public sector and government bodies to squander valuable national resources which could be better spent.

19 02 2014
nuwurld

So Met, when push comes to shove, you will have no difficulty in a total re appraisal of climate science to accommodate prediction failure? Because you have no political agenda. Right?

18 02 2014
johnspencer3333

“As yet, there is no definitive answer”. The problem with this answer is that Political leaders are claiming this winters storms are Climate Change. Shouldn’t the Met Office make it clear to leaders, the Prime Minister, that you don’t ‘as yet’ have any scientific proof?

Also as this Jet Stream shift seems reliant on the non global effect of the Arctic, how are ruling out the relative local Arctic ice melting effects such as soot and methane..?

19 02 2014
nuwurld

A full mitigation industry, worth billions is already thundering along. Little details like ‘why’ aren’t going to easily stop it!

Geoff

21 02 2014
mikeroberts2013

Policy makers shouldn’t wait for “scientific proof” before acting on something this risky. The science of attribution is gathering data and the indications are that extreme weather episodes could increase in intensity, in number, or both. Waiting for scientific proof of that is not a helpful tactic given the impacts that we’ve already seen of such events.

21 02 2014
omnologos

MIke – it’s surprising how many people still believe we are experiencing climate change impacts right now when the science says natural variability won’t be surpassed until the 2030s or 2040s, and there is no way to know if climate change has impacted eg the UK during the 2013-2014 winter.

23 02 2014
mikeroberts2013

Well, you may be right on when climate will start to exceed natural variability but work is still being done on attribution. I don’t think it’s right to say that it’s impossible to know that climate change has been a factor in the wettest winter on record, except in the strictest sense of knowing, 100%. Scientist have looked at other weather events and been able to assign probabilities to them happening with and without climate change.

22 02 2014
jbenton2013

omnologos

I don’t think Mike is too interested in scientific data. His agenda lies elsewhere, like most Chicken Little’s.

18 02 2014
Matt Sykes

It near surface WV might have increased, slightly, but overall tropospheric WV has reduce, source, NASA WV project. And since it is WV in the entire troposphere that provides rainfall then quite clearly there is no basis on which to call these storms as a product of GW.

18 02 2014
20 02 2014
Sundance (@0Sundance)

The data from RSS touted in your link as the most accurate is the same as NVAP after 2000 which is a declining trend of precipitable water in the atmosphere.

18 02 2014
Matt Sykes

Now, we are also not going to get ‘dangerous climate change’ until we reach 2C. That is what we are told, so since we are at 0.7 C these storms, being dangerous, can not be due to climate change.

19 02 2014
mikeroberts2013

We’re actually at 0.85C, at least, according to the IPCC report (but it may be as high as 0.89C). The science doesn’t define 2C as the dangerous point, that is a target agreed by politicians when the science suggested that the risks may be too high at 2C. The science has moved on. The dangerous level may be around 1C (i.e. about the highest temperature for the Holocene, which we’re in now). But the climate doesn’t just flip at 1C or 2C, if you still think less than 2C will be OK). “Dangerous” is probably defined as the global risks being too great to manage, but some regions may experience dangerous climate change before that.

19 02 2014
jbenton2013

When alarmists get it wrong they simply move the goal posts and/or rewrite history. Good try Mike but you’re convincing no-one but the converted. Good luck with that “dangerous” 1 C warming.

20 02 2014
mikeroberts2013

I realise that those who aren’t bothered about the science will not be convinced but maybe a few who look outside their dreams and hopes will find some semblence of the truth. If we don’t inform our decisions from facts and science-based projections, then it’s just a finger in the air. I think that’s what you’re advocating. You tried to pretend that temperature hadn’t increased as much as it has. You also tried to pretend that the limit chosen by politicians is acceptable to you (which is probably isn’t) and that dangerous effects will only happen once that temperature increase has been reached. Pretending isn’t going to help us now. Why do you think civilisations only arose during the holocene? Because the climate was fairly stable. Going beyond the highest temperature so far, in the holocene, is likely to detabilise the climate, or maybe already has.

19 02 2014
nuwurld

Mike. Let’s get this right. If we take 0.89degC off global temperature then we are ‘spot on’? By your validation that is Earth’s optimum temperature right?
How on Earth can you explain that? Was 1880 some magical moment in time?

Further, the estimation of the Earth’s temperature at any one time is the function of a model. Full stop.

It is not a real temperature, but a representation of the algorithm that integrates the spatial and temporal thermal data. It is subject to question. Like all scientific data.

Regards,
Geoff

21 02 2014
mikeroberts2013

Geoff, no, I’m saying that there is a good scientific argument that the maximum Holocene temperature is a limit to stay under, to avoid dangerous climate change, globally. We’re about at that limit now but certainly 1C or 1.1C could be the maximum and we’re not far off.

Yes, of course estimates could be wrong and, indeed, Cowtan and Way showed last year that the average global temperature over the last 15 years or so has probably been underestimated. However, what should policy makers use to guide them? Hopeful wishes of climate contrarians or the measured scientific data that feeds those estimates?

20 02 2014
Bob Smith

The risk of harm is proportional to the amount of change. Current emission levels are already dangerous for as mikerobert points out they put us on a trajectory out of the tried-and-tested climate of the holocene.

21 02 2014
jbenton2013

Oh dear Mike Roberts you seem to be terribly susceptible to any climate hysteria pumped out by the alarmist propaganda machine. Your references to the statistically discredited Cowtan & Wray paper shows a dreadful lack of critical thinking. Even the warmists don’t give that one any credibility.

23 02 2014
mikeroberts2013

jbenton, I follow climate change research quite closely and haven’t seen any discrediting of Cowtan’s and Way’s research, other than Judith Curry, who seemed to ignore the validation work that they did for their technique. Plenty of other climate scientists still refer to the work and extend it to cover up to the end of 2013 (which was even warmer than 1998, with the corrected data).

25 02 2014
nuwurld

Mike, thanks for the reply.

Mike I’m sorry, but having a strong argument for climate change being externally driven I am not particularly bothered by Cowtan and Way’s assessment. Unfortunately for Cowtan and Way, and no disrespect intended, they fall into a great smouldering pile of others that pitifully deny the ability of the Earth’s climate to vary naturally. There is no threat of the climate warming once the Sun has completed this second peak of cycle 24. Atmospheric circulation patterns have already changed. We don’t have long to wait. There is no fear of warming.

Hope we can find some common ground.
Geoff

25 02 2014
mikeroberts2013

The common ground may occur if you jetison the notion that scientists (or anyone who seriously looks at the science of climate) deny that the climate changes. Much of the research has been in determining the impact of past forcings on the climate. This can be used as semi-empirical evidence for what will happen with human caused forcings (with greenhouse gases and land use changes).

25 02 2014
nuwurld

Mike. Ok I can give a little. Please replace ‘pitifully deny’ with ‘pitifully underestimate’.

I love the way you can make 2013 warmer than 1998 by ‘correcting’ the data. Neat.

Mike I also love the way past forcings can be used as evidence for current, proposed (GHG) forcing. Now more powerful than ever with nothing, according to most temperature data sets, happening! Unless of course we go back and ‘correct’ them!

‘Semi-empirical’ makes it sound so believable too.

However, back to reality.

What you need is actual warming without ‘correcting’ the data and you’d then have a plan. Until then please try to avoid making a mountain out of a natural plateau.

Geoff.

28 02 2014
mikeroberts2013

I’m glad you like the corrections to the data, nuworld. That seems like a good idea: if holes in the data are identified and a means found to plug them, then we know a bit more than we did before and have a more complete data set.

By the way, if you think “nothing” has been happening, you haven’t been paying attention. Glaciers have continued to retreat and the polar ice sheets have been losing mass. The Arctic sea ice has also been shrinking much faster than expected. A few other things too. I guess all that doesn’t actually need extra energy for some climate contrarians but the world doesn’t work like that. Also, surface temperatures have actually continued to increase – the “pause” is a slowdown, just not quite as large a slowdown once the data holes are plugged.

25 02 2014
nuwurld

Mike, indulge me. How much of the 0.85 to 0.89deg C or more, of recent warming do you assign to nature? I’m not asking for proof, just your opinion, as someone who takes climate seriously.

Cheers, Geoff

28 02 2014
mikeroberts2013

Oh, my opinion isn’t relevant to the science, Geoff, but the IPCC report says that the rise in temperature since 1950 is consistent with its all being the result of human emissions and land use changes. So I guess rises before then might have been partly natural variation. Of course, natural variation always plays a part – I’ve read that human behaviour has actually contributed more than we’ve seen but natural variability and aerosols (partly due to us) have moderated it a bit. All of the orbital changes which tend to reduce the energy we get from the sun, for instance, have been acting to lower temperatures over the last decade or so, but temperatures are still rising (just more slowly, though probably less slowly than the base data show), as is ocean heat content.

28 02 2014
nuwurld

Met Office Press Office. You are doing this again. My comment remains in ‘moderation’ for days, then as soon as it is published someone has replied. Obviously their comment is not three days delayed in ‘moderation’. More spectacularly, this person has managed to break the chronological order and reply directly to my comments where mere mortals like us, outside of ‘office preference’ are denied this option. I have to enter a comment at the nearest ‘reply’ and then it appears in chronological order. Mike Roberts is obviously ‘in’ with the Met.

I’ll reply to his comments later. Meanwhile I expect a response from you, Met Office Press Office. as to why this has happened.

Thank you,
Geoff

How can anyone directly reply without a reply tab?

3 03 2014
Met Office Press Office

There are no different levels of comment access, so all those commenting are in exactly the same position within the parameters of the comment system provided by WordPress. We do try to approve comments regularly, however we do not have the resources to monitor this blog continuously.
If you require further clarification, you can see our moderation guidelines here: http://metofficenews.wordpress.com/moderation-guidelines/
Regards,
Press Office

4 03 2014
mikeroberts2013

nuworld, I have no connection to the Met Office. I replied by using the “Reply” button that appears on the email that notifies me of new comments. That button is always there in the email but the Reply link on the web site isn’t (I think it has something to do with nesting levels).

28 02 2014
nuwurld

Hi Mike.

“That seems like a good idea: if holes in the data are identified and a means found to plug them, then we know a bit more than we did before and have a more complete data set”

I bet you have a VGA camera and upscaling pal!

28 02 2014
nuwurld

Mike, the total of ice sheet melt and the heat uptake of the oceans constitutes a maximum of 3mm per year in sea level rise (actually closer to 1.5mm /year). Scary. Yes that does require energy. It’s called entropy driving the oceanic thermal inertia to equilibrium. The oceans ‘remember’ the Little Ice Age.

Geoff

1 03 2014
nuwurld

Mike,

“Oh, my opinion isn’t relevant to science”.

I am not conversing with ‘science’. I am trying to communicate with you. I simply asked for your opinion. If you don’t have one then don’t bother replying. You are not the IPCC. You do not represent them. Any wording other than a direct quote, due to the complexities of the English language expresses opinion. Whether you like it or not.

So am I to take that, according to Mike Roberts and the IPCC,

“Since 1950 all the warming is due to man”

As a final answer?

4 03 2014
mikeroberts2013

Geoff,

A few quotes from the IPCC report (summary):

“It is very likely that the mean rate of global averaged sea level rise was 1.7 [1.5 to 1.9] mm yr–1 between 1901 and 2010, 2.0 [1.7 to 2.3] mm yr–1 between 1971 and 2010 and 3.2 [2.8 to 3.6] mm yr–1 between 1993 and 2010.”

“The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period … The observed warming since 1951 can be attributed to the different natural and anthropogenic drivers and their contributions can now be quantified. Greenhouse gases contributed a global mean surface warming likely to be in the range of 0.5°C to 1.3 °C [best estimate 0.9°C] over the period 1951−2010, with the contributions from other anthropogenic forcings, including the cooling effect of aerosols, likely to be in the range of −0.6°C to 0.1°C [best estimate -0.3°C].”

“The contribution from natural forcings is likely to be in the range of −0.1°C to 0.1°C, and from internal variability is likely to be in the range of −0.1°C to 0.1°C.”

1 03 2014
nuwurld

Look Mike, have a loll at this,

http://lasp.colorado.edu/lisird/tsi/historical_tsi.html

Wake up. The Earth integrates flux. NH is the driver due to low heat capacity leverage and SH long term integrates.

Geoff

4 03 2014
nuwurld

Met Office Press Office.

Thanks for the reply.

Met I know I am not the only responder to be confused by moderation delays as recent comments suggest. I appreciate that you have, as press officers, more things to do than ‘police’ this blog. However, it has been noted that updating was more frequent in the past. I would suggest, as I have done before, that your potential lack of involvement is damaging to your position.

I appreciate that you have responded to my request for an answer. For which I am grateful. Mike has replied by elucidating upon the additional reply within the WordPress email.

I duly apologise.

However, you must yourself appreciate the lack of clinical evidence in the support of orthodox climate science leaves you impotent to respond convincingly to many comments. Hence the lack of suitable response to many commenters, in itself, becomes the silent statement. You don’t appear willing or able to defend your ground.

Regards , Geoff

5 03 2014
mikeroberts2013

Geoff,

I’m not sure what you mean by “clinical evidence”. There is certainly plenty of evidence for the consensus climate science position (that humanly caused CO2 is increasing and that CO2 – and other GHGs – trap heat, thus warming the planet). There are plenty of sites out there (e.g. SkepticalScience and RealClimate, among many) that have mountains of responses to the usual contrarian arguments, so I don’t think the Met Office Press Office needs to respond in a similar manner. You should not read anything into that other than they don’t have time for it.

4 03 2014
nuwurld

Mike, thanks for the info wrt email replies. Sorry for jumping to conclusions.

Mike, I am also sorry that you don’t feel up to voicing your own opinion. After reaching adulthood that is your right. It is only through questioning and continual reassessment that progress occurs. The few ‘incorrect’ today, by consensus, at least in climatology, will be the few ‘correct’ through the passage of time.

The modern warm period is over.

That is my opinion. It is something I feel strong enough to voice as a result study and of deep consideration.

Regards, Geoff

5 03 2014
mikeroberts2013

Geoff, I certainly do feel up to voicing my opinion. What my opinion doesn’t do is make a difference to reality though. The warm period cannot be over until the energy imbalance (energy in, from the sun, versus energy out) is eliminated. So further warming is guaranteed – it just physics.

4 03 2014
nuwurld

Mike. With respect to yourself and Cowtan and Way,

Please acknowledge that nature hasn’t read ‘Cowtan and Way’.

Sea ice coverage and hence ice albedo feedback dramatically bounced back during your 2013 “warmist” year.

Regards, Geoff

6 03 2014
mikeroberts2013

Geoff,

You do realise that one year of rebound doesn’t make a trend, don’t you? There have been other rebound years after large falls. Meanwhile, the polar ice sheets continue to lose mass: http://www.nature.com/news/grim-picture-of-polar-ice-sheet-loss-1.11921

I also notice that the Arctic Sea Ice extent is just about at the lowest level it’s ever been at this time of the year. It will be interesting to see if we get another low year to add to the many recent years of large sea ice melt.

Arctic Sea Ice extent doesn’t necessarily mean that the Arctic is cooling. The Arctic is the fastest warming region on the planet, hence Cowtan’s and Way’s research showing only a slight slowdown in global warming over the last 15 years, when the Arctic holes (in particular) are filled in with satellite data.

7 03 2014
nuwurld

Mike. There is no clinical evidence of increase of so called ‘greenhouse gases’ warming the surface. Such gases simultaneously reduce the solar flux reaching the surface and allow stored energy from nitrogen and oxygen to be radiated to space. Water vapour and other ‘greenhouse gases’ are working fluids ensuring that the Earth emits at equilibrium in the longwave the equivalent of the shortwave thermalised. The surface temperature is the result of the thermal gradient from the mean atmospheric radiative height. However, at this point the current atmospheric composition has rendered surface radiation a ‘bit player’ to moist convection which rips energy from the surface up to an altitude where molecules like H2O and CO2 and methane etc can radiate to space. This is done dynamically as necessary. There is no build up of trapped heat, as thermometers show. The Earth just shrugs it off. And CO2 is one of the things it uses.

8 03 2014
mikeroberts2013

Geoff, the effects of CO2 have been demonstrated in laboratory experiments for over 100 years. In addition, the energy imbalance of the planet has been measured. There is no doubt, scientifically, that CO2 and other GHGs are warming the planet (as a whole) and will continue to do so until energy equilibrium is reached. There is also plenty of paleo-climate data that give some fairly robust estimates of the warming we can expect from certain concentrations of GHGs.

7 03 2014
nuwurld

Mike, I do value you voicing your opinion, but the term it’s ‘just physics’, or ‘simple physics’ as is commonly used is misleading.

The total of solar irradiance is a variable. At around 0.1% this variability is ten times larger than any other energy source for the Earth. It is also spectrally variable with different portions of the spectrum atmospherically transmitted, absorbed, scattered or reflected as a function of wavelength and matter at the respective altitude. On average our current atmosphere only transmits 0.55 to the surface. ie the current atmospheric composition stops 0.45 of the solar flux from reaching the surface, not massively dissimilar to the outgoing surface transmission through non cloudy sky. Only thermalised absorption leads to equilibrium. The immediate quantity of atmospheric water (the main atmospheric variable), as liquid or ice alters the instantaneous albedo and therefore the portion thermalised. The instantaneous bolometric flux incident upon the Earth can be accurately measured. However, the SORCE, spectral irradiance monitor, despite being a dual instrument that calibrated itself in the far UV using a new cluster of ‘blue’ stars was immediately questioned by climatologists when it showed spectral variance over the solar period 2002 to 2010.

The total absorbed can only be estimated, if we don’t know exactly, and that is spectrally and the sum of all mass impingement what the Sun delivers, or the portion thermalised as opposed to reflected or scattered.

As a dynamic, non isotropic, absorbing and scattering object the total of radiations from the Earth is extremely difficult to measure. Especially when entropy doesn’t disallow the production of many processed photons at diminishing and therefore less detectable energies, through all available escape angles from all points within each available last optical depth.

Plus Mike, energy balance is a lame argument anyway. As we already are aware global temperatures are not rising. The worlds oceans as thermal storage oscillators lag surface temperatures by hundreds of years. They will therefore continue to absorb energy even if significant surface cooling occurs. The ocean depths are not in eqm with the surface temperatures.

8 03 2014
mikeroberts2013

“Plus Mike, energy balance is a lame argument anyway. As we already are aware global temperatures are not rising. ”

That’s not what the data show, whether you’re talking about the entire planet or just the lower troposphere.

7 03 2014
nuwurld

Mike, I’m pleased to hear that you are watching Arctic sea ice too. The current area minimum you are pointing out and the anomaly can be viewed here. Be careful about the ‘lowest ever’ term you used though. Lowest in the recent satellite era, maybe, and during a positive AMO, (and ‘unprecedented’ warming!);

Thanks for drawing attention to another warmist non-event. How do you think that looks to the public, hearing you point out this ‘record’ low?

How much ice would anyone expect there to be in the Arctic after 130 years of warming Mike?

This year should see the start of the waning phase of solar cycle 24. See how the Arctic responds once that starts to happen Mike,

Regards, Geoff

8 03 2014
mikeroberts2013

Well, we can only go on what we measure and compare against what has been measured. But you need to consider longer term trends than just a year.

12 03 2014
nuwurld

Mike, would you care to elucidate upon the most memorable lab experiments to show the effects of CO2? Those that really stick in your mind. Your proof, if you like?

Mike, one of your favourites, “skeptical science” has a running addition of Earth’s accumulated energy. Four Hiroshima’s per second.

Let’s put that into perspective. 1 Hiroshima equivalent is 15KTn of TNT. 1MTn of TNT is 4.184e+15J, so 4 Hiroshima’s is 2.5e+14J.

The worlds oceans are 0.023% of the mass of the Earth, or 1.37e+21kg. The heat capacity of water is 4,186J/kg/K or the heat capacity of the worlds oceans is 5.75e+24J/K. So four Hiroshima’s per second accumulated would take 729years to heat the worlds oceans by one degree. Irrespective of the cause.
However the Sun delivers 1,362W/m-2 or 1.74e17W or 2,770 Hiroshima’s per second to the Earth. To which the Earth is in equilibrium with to a large extent.

The Sun is accepted to vary bolometrically by 0.1% or 3Hiroshima’s per second, and this is classed as a solar constant!

I other words the discrepancy is 0.0014 (2770:4). Notice skeptical science don’t express error bars!

13 03 2014
mikeroberts2013

Geoff,

John Tyndall was the first (that I’m aware of) to demonstrate the GHG properties of CO2, about 150 years ago. Herzberg did so in 1953 and Burch in 1962 and 1970. Others have done the same. Skeptics could make their name by demonstrating, in a reproducible way, that CO2 does not trap heat. Perhaps you could provide a link to such?

I don’t know what you’re trying to prove with your calculations, which I couldn’t be bothered to check, since it seems irrelevant, but 90% (more, recently) of the trapped heat ends up in the oceans. This is thermal inertia. That heat has caused measurable sea level rise (with more coming from melting graciers and ice sheets). Perhaps you think the amount of heat, spread across the entire ocean can’t possibly be harmful. Sadly, lots of scientific measurements and observations show that not to be the case (i.e. it is having an impact).

15 03 2014
nuwurld

Hi Mike. 28th Feb 11:56 and 7th March 12:49am both contain text where in direct conversation with you I have referred to the ocean’s thermal inertia. The factual argument I am making is that due to the ocean’s thermal inertia the Earth’s energy balance/ imbalance is a lame argument. It isn’t going to balance due to lag. We have done this. Do not turn the issue around after a week and tell me something that I have previously drawn attention to. Twice.

“Skeptics could make their name by demonstrating, in a reproducible way, that CO2 does not trap heat.”

Well, try this,

” Because NITROGEN is a homonuclear molecule, it CANNOT LOSE this ENERGY by photon emission, and its excited vibrational levels are therefore METASTABLE and LIVE for a LONG TIME.
Collisional energy transfer between the nitrogen and the carbon dioxide molecule causes vibrational excitation of the carbon dioxide, with sufficient efficiency to lead to the desired population inversion necessary for laser operation.”

This is a description of a CO2 laser where nitrogen “traps” the heat. It collisionally loses that to CO2 which cannot retain it. It emits as soon as it is stimulated.

Now if a system required equatorial excess energy to be transferred polewards by a gas at altitude over a period of time to preserve polar temperature then would you choose an emitter or a metastable molecule?

For that matter, Tyndall and so many others failed to differentiate between measuring a form of opacity and “assuming” that the lack of transmission was due to thermalised absorption. CO2 is in fact very good at non thermal scattering. The fact that the source photon fails to reach the detector does not mean that it has been absorbed, nor does it mean it will be a single photon re emitted at the same wavelength, nor does it mean it will be directed back to the emitter. Nor does it mean that the emitter will offer an available absorption state if it did so.Nor does it mean that the net emissions in band do not travel according to the thermal gradient in place already. These are all assumptions. They all need experimental verification before concluding that the triatomic has ‘trapped the heat’.

Even if concluded by experiment that the surface is significantly affected in it’s ability to lose heat in CO2’s spectral bands the issue of how much energy is transferred already due to saturation is the next. Then there is the available response of the system to transfer that energy by other means, ie coupled conduction/moist convection. Plus the negative properties of greenhouse gases to surface warming, ie increased radiative conduction, decrease of solar energy reaching the surface and increased atmospheric emissions to space from interaction with metastable diatomics.

Mike, the argument with the calculation is one to quantify and ratify the energy imbalance and the Earth’s tolerance to it at current levels (the approach to eqm long term would be asymptotic). Plus as already stated, the imbalance from suggested “heat trapping” within the lower troposphere due to ‘enhanced greenhouse gas back radiation’ must influence lower tropospheric temperatures first (which thermometers are not showing). Back radiation cannot penetrate the skin of the ocean. You cannot heat water that is free to evaporate by long wave radiation. Experimental fact. Only visible light can penetrate the ocean due to the limited transparency window of water. So if you insist that the water is being heated by the circulation patterns (not unreasonable), then we are back with a system that is solar powered, ie not driven by back radiation.

Sadly you fall into one of two categories, Mike. The first being the one who has swallowed the story, ‘hook line and sinker’. The second being the one who fishes. The one who casts the bait for others to swallow.

No offense intended. Regards,

Geoff

19 03 2014
mikeroberts2013

Geoff,

Of course CO2 re-radiates heat that it traps. That is exactly the cause of warming.

Measurements have shown that the ocean takes up 90% (or more) of the energy that the earth retains from solar heating. Are you suggesting that the only way it can get there is by the lower atmosphere firstly warming enough to transfer that heat to the oceans? It’s a constant process and the measurements are fairly robust. It seems that you would expect surface temperatures to be many times what they are to get the heat into the oceans, though that isn’t in the climate record (because of the thermal lag of the oceans).

Of course the earth will never be in exact balance, the balance will shift all the time, in a stable climate, but the imbalance has been such that it is causing the planet to warm. This is measurably true. As long as there is more energy coming in than going out, the planet will warm. If that balance reverses, then, of course, the earth would cool. Paleoclimate data should be concerning as it indicates that the planet will warm several degrees more, if we don’t rein in our use of fossil fuels dramatically. However, I don’t expect rational decisions to be made, so

19 03 2014
omnologos

Funny enough, the 90% figure isn’t a matter of measurements, rather simple physics. ;)

12 03 2014
nuwurld

Mike, climate change/global warming is about where we live as humans. The Earth has a very large heat capacity as a whole. The easiest to lever, ie force, is that with the lowest heat capacity with the highest degree of forcing. Which by greenhouse gas ‘theory’, matey, starts somewhere within the troposphere! If the troposphere temperature isn’t rising with 4 Hiroshima’s per second accumulated then how is it going to force anything else!

14 03 2014
mikeroberts2013

The answer to that, Geoff, is in climate research over the last few years. If you can’t be bothered to look that up, I would think that you’re not interested in the answer. You have to remember that climate change is not concerned about what your, or my, opinions are, it happens regardless of people’s opinions. Fortunately climate scientists do a lot of painstaking work to find out what is happening and to give us a glimpse of what may happen in future. Sadly, most of the world’s people, don’t seem to care about this. Climate skeptics, unfortunately, just make things worse by obfuscating and, in many case, just plain lying about the science. I’m not saying you’re doing the latter but, really, try to look up some science. If something doesn’t seem right to you, look up the science. 90% of the trapped heat goes into the ocean – it’s a big area with all sorts of dynamics which help move the heat lower, at least for now. That’s what the science says. You might have a different opinion but, as I said, your opinion doesn’t change the facts.

17 03 2014
omnologos

can we please stop filling up other people’s inboxes with silly discussions about ‘simple physics’? Climate change is not simple physics.

Simple physics tells you warm gases rise. Temperature go down the higher one moves, in the troposphere.

Simple physics shows CO2 is opaque in some IR bands. Yet nobody uses CO2 to insulate anything from IR waves.

Climate change is a complex subject and any simplification is a failure in itself.

18 03 2014
nuwurld

Mike. You are plainly displaying your poor set of ‘cards’ whilst attempting to bluff your way along. It is not difficult for a reader to tell that I am quite conversant in the physics of the atmosphere. I am not some ‘casual’ responder, or someone disinterested, or perhaps, a’liar’.

Can I remind you that the ‘greenhouse effect’ and the forcing associated, is a lower tropospheric event. All data sets are showing a stagnation in lower tropospheric temperatures.

All the current climate models associated and programmed to model this ‘effect’ are running ‘high’ with around 3% covering the current lack of warming within their lower error bar estimates. The other 97% are currently overestimating the warming (lack of) we have experienced.

Mike Roberts is saying that all of the models are wrong because the world is warmer than we think. Despite data showing all the models running high, Mike tells us they are all running low because Cowtan and Way have trundled a satellite a cross the pole and discovered more trapped heat! All the world is warmer than we think! All the heat (well 90% of the trapped heat is going into the oceans!!!!!!!!). But as we have both said. This is thermal inertia. So no problem there!

Mik, once heat is entropically driven into the ocean it is lost within the oceans heat capacity. It will only respond to a thermal gradient. It will not spontaneously erupt that energy by creating anything other than entropy would allow.

Mike, thanks for expressing your support of other’s opinions. I still believe, for good reason (like the data shows, and the science shows) that accepted climatology is incorrect in its basic assumptions. It will soon fail beyond all expectations!

Mike, it is plain that you do not understand the science you defend.

19 03 2014
mikeroberts2013

Geoff, of course I don’t expect the heat to come trundling out of the oceans in a day or two, it will take time but it is also having an impact in the oceans. The point is that the oceans taking up extra heat is one of the factors that has slowed surface temperature increases. It has not stopped those increases, as you’ve tried to show. The point about Cowtan and Way, despite the fact that you try to belittle their hard work, is that another factor in the slowdown is that the fastest warming part of the planet isn’t well covered for surface measurements. Their work, which they validated using areas where there was good surface coverage, suggests that the slowdown hasn’t actually been very great.

The thermal lag merely delays the inevitable as the earth has to emit more energy to reach a rough equilibrium. Meanwhile, we’re emitting GHGs at, at least, the same rate.

13 03 2014
Jaime Jessop

Mike, with regard to your scientific ‘proof’ of CO2 global warming. Those experiments demonstrate, in a controlled laboratory setting, the radiative properties of CO2 gas. I don’t think anyone in their right mind is disputing the simple science here, so why people such as yourself keep raising it in defence of anthropogenic global warming, I’m not sure, because, let’s be very clear about this, it is NOT a demonstration of AGW. Firstly, the dynamics of the earth’s atmosphere are very different from the inside of a laboratory glass jar. Secondly, most crucially, CO2 is not a very effective GHG and, even in the most optimistic (pessimistic?) estimate of climate sensitivity, it accounts for little more than 1C per doubling of atmospheric CO2. The majority of so called ‘dangerous’ (an additional 1-4C per doubling) warming supposedly resulting from the accumulation of CO2 and other GHGs in our atmosphere is based upon assumed, not scientifically proven, net positive feed-backs, principally from water vapour. So, the THEORY of CO2 mediated global warming is not ‘simple physics’ by any stretch of the imagination.

13 03 2014
mikeroberts2013

I’m not defending AGW, Jaime, I’m just trying to explain what is known about the science of AGW. GHGs do trap and are trapping heat. The latest research on climate sensitivity suggest it is at the high end of estimates, whilst you seem to think it is even lower than the low end of climate science estimates. You should write up a paper and get it published. You could become famous if you’re right, and earn the undying gratitude of billions.

19 02 2014
Barry Woods (@BarryJWoods)

A comment borrowed from Bishop Hill

——————————————————————–

“The Met Office statement does not link to the Rose article they are criticising.

Here’s what the Met Office statement starts off with:

“An article by David Rose appeared yesterday in the Mail on Sunday entitled: ‘No, global warming did NOT cause the storms, says one of the Met Office’s most senior experts’.
In it he says that Mat Collins, Professor in Climate Systems at Exeter University, ‘appears to contradict’ the report released by the Met Office last weekend …”

But David Rose said no such thing! He said that Mat Collins seemed to contradict Julia Slingo’s statement to the press, ‘all the evidence suggests that climate change has a role to play’. The Rose article did not even mention the Met Office report released last weekend.

———————————–

I think this shows that the Met Office owes David Rose an abject apology, especially as the Met Office failed to even link to the article they were criticizing, lest anybody notice there response was pr/spin/fiction

19 02 2014
Bob Smith

I notice the comment you have “borrowed” has already been posted on this thread two days ago. That makes at least three places it’s been posted, interesting.

As to accuracy, what do you think of the accuracy of David Rose’s headline:

“No, global warming did NOT cause the storms, says one of the Met Office’s most senior experts”

I make at least two inaccuracies in that, very loud ones given it is a headline. Maybe David Rose should apologise!

19 02 2014
Jaime Jessop

The response put out by the Met Office to David Rose’s article is disingenuous and factually inaccurate in its criticisms, criticisms which have been taken at face value by people such as Monbiot and those involved with the Carbon Brief to promote the falsehood that Rose at the Mail got it wrong again and either wilfully or inadvertently misrepresented what Mat Collins had to say.

As pointed out in comments above, Rose merely said that Mat Collins’ statement re. the jet stream ‘appeared’ to contradict what Julia Slingo said about the attribution of global warming to the UK floods this winter, which is patently obvious – it did appear so. By saying that Rose stated wrongly that Collins’ views appeared to contradict the Met Office report, you are not keeping to the facts. But that aside, Slingo IS chief scientific officer at the Met Office and as such is looked upon as representing the prevailing scientific ‘consensus’ at the Met Office, so what she says reflects upon the organisation as a whole.

I also question this whole business about a warming world resulting in an atmosphere which can hold more water vapour, therefore increasing the likelihood of extreme rain events and/or mean precipitation. An explanation which is trotted out regularly by those seeking to attribute wetter, milder weather to generalised global warming. Intuitively attractive but very simplistic I feel and certainly not enough to base a theory of ‘climate change causes more rainfall’ on when there are a myriad of other factors involved. Especially when, for 17.5 years, there has been no increase in mean global temperatures which would result in these warmer, more humid atmospheric conditions supposedly increasingly the likelihood of extreme rainfall events. Or was it perhaps the Ghost of Global Warming Past, who died in 1997/98, that ‘loaded the dice’ in favour of the very wet UK winter of 2013/14? Finally, let us not forget that it is COOLER conditions aloft and the presence of available condensation nuclei which cause water vapour in warm, moist air to condense out and fall as rain.

As Julia Slingo appeared to leap on the opportunity to promote the UK floods this winter as evidence of man-made climate change, politicians and the warmist media have likewise jumped on her statement to say definitively that this winter is at least partly, even wholly due to CO2 emissions, quoting ‘scientific evidence’ in their favour, where in reality there is next to none. All we get in response from the Met Office is this hastily and ill-constructed damage limitation exercise. Please do better.

19 02 2014
Bob Smith

“Especially when, for 17.5 years, there has been no increase in mean global temperatures”

Not so, the trend in hadcrut4 is positive and taking into account uncertainty only shows a small % chance that there’s been no warming. Far more likely than not the world has warmed over the past 17.5 years.

19 02 2014
nuwurld

Jaime, nothing there that I would disagree with. A very fair appraisal.

Regards, Geoff

19 02 2014
climatebeagle

Met Office Press Office has replied to various comments, but not to any comment that actually relates to the issue in the Daily Mail article.

Can you start with an answer to this simple question.

Did Dame Julia Slingo say:

“all the evidence suggests that climate change has a role to play in the storms.”

?
(as reported in the BBC and Daily Mail)

19 02 2014
nuwurld

Hello Met. Seems you have plenty of responses that are not totally in agreement with your position. Still, it’s all work I suppose!

The following is an attempt to sensibly rationalise this winter’s storminess without re-addressing points already covered. I welcome your opinion.

As the Met has pointed out in earlier posts;

1) Winter storms tend to have a higher mean aggression than summer cyclones due to the raised thermal gradient present between the meteorological equator and the winter pole per unit of meridional distance.

2)This winter has seen the westerly phase of the quasi-biennial oscillation. This propagates from equatorial regions poleward and to lower altitudes from its original 200mbar position and is eventually dissipated into the lithosphere by frictional interaction with the oceans and land masses. During this positive phase the atmospheric angular momentum is net positive and we experience preferred westerly winds as a direct result.

I seem to be repeating this somewhat but talk of the jet stream ‘becoming this’ or ‘doing that’ is just plain weird.
The mid latitude cold cored cyclones and the associated jet stream storm track are both products of the thermal gradient and resultant, tilted baroclinic structure formed by the polar front convergence with the warmer Ferrel cell. Mid-latitude cold cored cyclones require a short wave perturbation in the polar front for genesis. The jet stream is a thermal wind and like all thermal winds is the exact balance between the pressure gradient force and the Coriolis. The air simply streams into the lower pressure until it’s own westerly vector component prohibits further progress. As such it ‘indicates’ the position, strength and extent of the thermal gradient that produced it. Some might say that a strong jet intensifies the cyclone. However, it wouldn’t be a strong jet without the steep thermal gradient that produced it! And both require the presence of the polar front!

The wording you have omitted from this seasons winter storminess is;

“The stubborn persistence of the cold air of the POLAR FRONT which has sat mid-North Atlantic through the winter. From the ‘shortest day’ in December, the balance of energy starts to swing back towards the Northern Hemisphere and the rising energy of the Ferrel cell starts to push poleward more strongly against the returning, cold, dense mass of the polar front. However, this post solstice, the polar front in the mid-North Atlantic refused to ‘give’ any ground.”

Your models ‘don’t do’ trending south of the circumpolar vortex/jet stream/zero energy balance point. That is because your models predict warming due to enhanced concentrations of ‘greenhouse gases’. True warming of the planet does include poleward excursion of the zero energy balance/jet streams. So measured equatorial trending should set alarm bells ringing. The climate models are flawed.

The QBO is a resonance of the lunar Draconian month with the nearest harmonic of the tropical year. Product/difference gives the cycle length of 2.37 years (credit Paul L. Vaughan). Spin/orbit coupling in action. The higher altitude Semi-Annual Oscillation is due to low heat capacity leverage of the Northern Hemisphere land masses and the Solar forcing differential. The extent of the atmosphere into the realms of differential rotation through momentum conservation and gravitational tides is the result of thermalised ionising radiation. This modulates the Earth’s fundamental winds and therefore ocean currents/heat circulation/temperature (P. Vaughan, N. Sidorenkov).

Also we find ourselves repeatedly having to say to the Met Office that the measured warming of the planet has been indistinguishable from zero (now) for 17.5years. The atmospheric water content therefore has not recently changed due to that previous warming. Your own January data shows no mean precipitation increase during the past 30year interval.

Food for thought

Regards, Geoff

20 02 2014
Bob Smith

It would be just as valid to state that warming over last 17.5 years is indistinguishable from 0.2C/decade.

20 02 2014
nuwurld

Hi Bob. As an individual in a free society I respect your ability to refine your opinion upon the best available information to you. I do believe you are tending towards a warm argument though. But that is just my opinion based upon my experience.

Geoff

20 02 2014
Jaime Jessop

If I understand correctly Nuwurld (Geoff), basically what you are saying is that the strength of the jet stream is dictated by the thermal gradient between the polar and subtropical air masses. The position of the jet stream is dictated by the relative geographical positions of the two air masses and what we seem to have had this winter is an abnormally stubborn polar air mass which has refused to ‘give way’ to the tropical mass, thereby causing the jet stream to get ‘stuck’. It would also seem that the thermal gradient has been enhanced somewhat between the two air masses (meaning that either or both are colder/warmer than ‘usual’) in order to account for the fact that the jet stream has been particularly powerful. A ‘normal’ UK winter would have the jet stream trending further north and more variable. Which makes this winter (and the last) exceptional in the fact that the jet stream has been trending south. Last winter it went way south, missing the UK altogether for much of the time, resulting in freezing continental air and easterlies prevailing. This year it got stuck right over us, resulting in stormy westerlies. As you say, global warming might reasonably be expected to send warm air further north, shrinking the geographical influence of the polar air mass, resulting in a more northerly tracking (and perhaps even weaker?) jet stream. Obviously, this is not happening.

20 02 2014
nuwurld

Hi Jaime. Yes, I feel you understand the sentiment of my post. Warming of the planet results in greater warming at the poles, a function of the non linearity of flux with temperature. The relative increase of polar temperature to those equatorial (well documented) automatically reduces the thermal gradient along any meridian and thereby reduces storminess on average.
However, if a relatively warm climate was subject to a change of external forcing signal then how would that manifest?
80% of the solar energy that comprises the 99.99% of energy on Earth arrives within 40deg of the equator. This equatorial energy surplus drives the circulation ‘engine’ that through coupled atmospheric and oceanic circulation carries thermal energy poleward simultaneously cooling lower latitudes and warming higher latitudes that suffer an energy deficit.

The immediate solar gradient of forcing is not spread out around the Earth. It is immediate and real upon the directed face of the planet and concentrated within 40 deg of the equator. This solar differential drives the horizontal thermal gradient. It simultaneously heats the atmosphere, the surface, exerts horizontal pressure gradients into the atmosphere driving tropospheric circulation, alters atmospheric composition (hydrological, ozone, upper atmospheric photolysis), Brewer Dobson circulation, tropospheric/stratospheric advection rates, radiative exchanges both surface to space, surface to atmosphere and inter atmospheric, convective buoyancy, atmospheric thickness, cloudiness both direct and indirect, geopotential height, teleconnections, spatiotemporal insolation tides, planetary magnetic fields, mass impingment and thermal wind buffering, atmospheric angular momentum, lithospheric angular momentum, length of day. I’m sure there are some I’ve missed. However climatology makes the Sun a constant. CO2 controls the Earth!!

This solar decline will undermine current climatology.

Thank you for the repy Jaime,

Geoff

21 02 2014
Jaime Jessop

You’re welcome Geoff. Indeed yes, the current solar decline does look set to seriously undermine current mainstream climatology. Alas, a comment by me on Stephen’s post below re. solar activity and the Met Office concentration upon delivering explanations of weather trends and climate variability based upon the assumption of AGW has apparently failed to pass moderation.

21 02 2014
Jaime Jessop

My mistake. Comment has appeared now.

20 02 2014
omnologos

Point of information.

Based on historical and current data, the behaviour of the Met Office press team that also takes care of this website is consistent with them being 100% occupied in reading the Daily Mail and nothing else.

The comment area should therefore be thought as a forum of exchange between commenters who pass by, without substantive answers by the Met Office itself.

Anybody who would like to talk football, give it a try, and why not. Please note that all the evidence suggests there is a link to climate change.

21 02 2014
jbenton2013

“Substantive answers” and the “Met Office” in the same sentence, surely not.

21 02 2014
climatebeagle

You can always try the contact form where the reply says they will respond within 28 days. Though in my experience, the response seems to take 28 days for even a basic reply, thus engaging in a discussion that way is very tedious.

I think responses to the FOI requests that are bound to happen around this topic will be very interesting.

20 02 2014
Stephen Wilde

Nice to see proper consideration of the jet stream issues that I have been emphasising for years.

See here:

http://www.newclimatemodel.com/weather-is-the-key-after-all/

22 02 2014
nuwurld

Hi Stephen. Correct me if I am wrong, but as far as I am aware you noticed a change in mid latitude circulation from zonal to meridional flows around 2002. As far as I am aware you have written about this for several years including the effects of albedo feedback from increased cloud and cloud appearing further south due to reduced equator to pole gradient. Credit where credit is due.

25 02 2014
Stephen Wilde

Hi, nuwurld

I first noticed that the trend towards increasing zonality as per AGW theory had stopped around 2000 and since about 2007 have been drawing attention to it frequently.

I’ve since been building up a new conceptual model for natural climate change based on continuing observation and the basic laws of physics.

It seems to be working out thus far.

Thanks for your interest.

21 02 2014
Jaime Jessop

Nice piece Stephen. Clear, concise and logical. I think where Met Office explanations of weather trends and climate change always fail is that they tend to concentrate on effects rather than causes, chiefly because the primary cause is presumed to be increasing CO2 which apparently requires little explanation other than it is easily demonstrable by ‘simple physics’. Hence we get bogged down by endless explanations of patterns of internal climate variability affecting this or that weather system, resulting in this or that weather, the increased/decreased prevalence of which may be ‘very likely’, an ‘expected’ consequence, or ‘not very confidently’ assigned to global warming. Natural internal variability is most often downplayed and solar-driven changes seem to be beyond the pale, yet solar variability and the resultant changes in global patterns of internal climate variability offer far more logically consistent explanations for climate change (warming or cooling) over decadal timescales; not infallible, but scientifically more credible than AGW, particularly CAGW.

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