Agenda-driven Met Office's grudging concessions to reality

Agenda-driven

It’s bizarre to watch the UK Met Office squirm as it desperately tries to maintain an ideological position in the face of conflicting evidence. I never would have believed that such a formerly respected institution, scientific impartiality at its core, could be so compromised by a political agenda.

Instead of simply reporting on new developments in climate, they must instead be spun in order to bolster the case for political action. Such is the case today, where Peter Stott grudgingly concedes that temperatures have fallen in the past couple of years, but surrounds it with caveats and “yes, buts” in order to make sure The Cause™ is not diluted (see highlights below):

THE world’s climate has cooled during last year and this year, temperature data from Britain’s Met Office reveals — just before this year’s talks on cutting global greenhouse gas emissions.

The figures show that, although global temperatures are still well above the long-term average, they have fallen since the record seen in 2010.

The findings could prove politically sensitive, coming ahead of the UN’s climate summit in Doha, Qatar, where the global system for regulating greenhouse gas emissions faces collapse. The threat comes because the Kyoto Treaty, under which developed nations pledged to cut their carbon emissions, expires at the end of this year. Doha is seen as the last hope of securing an extension.

In such a febrile situation, any data casting doubt on climate scientists’ predictions is potentially explosive.

The World Meteorological Organisation, which oversees the publication of climate trend data from the four main global centres, including the British Met Office, has been strongly criticised for its policy of releasing such data just before the UN’s key annual summits.

“In the past two years we have seen a slight decline in temperature,” said Peter Stott, the Met Office’s head of climate monitoring and attribution.

“However, it is such a short period that it is scientifically meaningless. Climate change can only be measured over decades — and the records show that the world has warmed by 0.75C over the past century.”

The Met Office figures show that, for the first 10 months of this year, global temperatures averaged 14.43C; 2010 was significantly hotter at 14.54C.

Dr Stott says the heat of 2010 was caused by an El Nino event, where warm water currents in the Pacific released unusual amounts of heat into the atmosphere.

“It is a natural short-term fluctuation and nothing to do with climate change,” he said.

The longer-term record shows global temperatures have hardly risen for about 15 years. But Dr Stott said the key point was that they had remained consistently above the long-term average. (source)

In fact, the print edition of The Australian includes a further sentence, which reveals the Met Office’s bias even more clearly:

“This is why the Arctic icecap is melting and extreme weather events are increasing.”

That could have been written by Greenpeace or the WWF. No mention of the increasing ice in the Antarctic or the fact that no link from “extreme weather” to climate change has been established – even by the IPCC. The claim has no factual basis and is pure environmental ideology.

Bjørn Lomborg has an op-ed in The Oz as well today, on mitigation vs adaptation.



Categories: Climate

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11 replies

  1. What have we come to when an organisation which is supposed to measure something as non-political as the weather is criticised for telling the truth?

    “The World Meteorological Organisation, which oversees the publication of climate trend data from the four main global centres, including the British Met Office, has been strongly criticised for its policy of releasing such data just before the UN’s key annual summits.”

  2. If global temperatures haven’t increased appreciably by the time CO2 reaches 400ppm then they will have remined flat for a third of all recent emissions above pre industrial levels (man made and natural). That will be really hard to gloss over.

  3. What have we come to when an organisation which is supposed to measure something as non-political as the weather, turns out to be one of the strongest advocates for polictical change based on that data, and withholds crucial information from the public in order to serve their own vested interests?

  4. Perhaps Dr. Stott should heed his own words:

    “Climate change can only be measured over decades — and the records show that the world has warmed by 0.75C over the past century,” according to Dr. Stott.

    “It is a natural short-term fluctuation and nothing to do with climate change,” said Dr. Stott.

  5. “the records show that the world has warmed by 0.75C over the past century.”

    A whole three-quarters of a degree?

    We’re doomed!

  6. These observations are to be expected by all the followers of AGW I guess, due to the fact that they have’nt, or won’t learn to use the other half of their brain

  7. “Climate change can only be measured over decades”, which is why we at the Met Office, unlike the awfully naughty Piers Corbyn, always point out the fallacy of any implication of a causal connection between man’s activity and any particular weather or climate event.

  8. Welcome to the New World Order of Al Gore. Animal Farm at it’s starkests. All these useless grubs feeding off the taxpayers!

  9. As a dyed-in-the-wool Brit, still in mourning after the rugby lesson given by your team to mine, I don’t find it bizarre, I find it extremely funny as the Met digs itself an ever-deepening hole.

  10. Just read another article in the Age called Degrees of devastation. Another fear campaign before the UN Meeting in Doha, Qatar. Follow link to read, http://www.theage.com.au/environment/degrees-of-devastation-major-report-warns-of-drastically-hotter-planet-20121119-29l3c.html

  11. When the Met responded to the Daily Mail article last month, showing that warming stopped 15 yrs ago, they made various claims that were not true, including the claim that August 2012 was “at the tail end of a La Nina”.

    When I pointed out to them that this was not true, and that we have just gone through a mild El Nino, they told another lie to cover up.

    http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2012/11/14/met-office-lies-multiply/

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