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Chris Smith Slapped Down Again

February 25, 2013

By Paul Homewood



Lord Smith, head of the Environment Agency, must be wishing he had kept his mouth shut. His claims that the UK is experiencing a “new kind of convective rain” has already attracted rebuke from meteorologists.

In last week’s Sunday Telegraph, Philip Eden, past vice-president of the Royal Meteorological Society, joined the fray. (Sorry, nothing on line, so I have scanned his article in below).

He makes the following points:-

  • Convective rain is not new, and provides most of the summer downpours in England.
  • There is no evidence that convective rain, or any other type of rain, is becoming more frequent.
  • Catastrophic examples of convective rain seem to be on the decline.
  • The two most recent major occurrences were in 2004 and 1993. But in the 1950’s and 60’s, there a dozen or more.
  • Our heaviest rainstorms happen when depressions are slow moving in the South West Approaches.
  • Climate Change theory suggests warmer oceans will lead to heavier rainfall, yet the sharp decline in these events since 1970 casts doubt on the theory (or whether oceans really are warmer).






A spokesman for the Environment Agency tried to sweep the matter under the carpet by saying

Lord Smith has consistently said we are seeing increasing instances of convective rain

Philip Eden points out that was not what he actually said. He might have added, there is no evidence of such increases anyway.


Freedom of Information Request

Meanwhile, a couple of weeks ago, I asked the Environment Agency to send me details of exactly what scientific advice Smith had received to support both his original statement and the subsequent clarification.

Watch this space!

  1. A C Osborn permalink
    February 25, 2013 2:08 pm

    Nice to see a more official rebuke.

  2. February 25, 2013 4:12 pm

    don’t hold your breath!

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