Skip to content

Beddington Is Wrong About Temperatures Too

March 27, 2013

By Paul Homewood



UK Chief Scientist, Sir John Beddington, has claimed in a recent interview that:-


“The variation in the temperature or rainfall, which Britain has been experiencing lately, is double the average rate”.


I have already shown that Met Office data does not bear out his claims regarding rainfall, but what about temperatures? Using the Central England Temperature Series, I have used the same methodology as I did with rainfall to check Beddington’s claims.


Just to recap, I have calculated the year on year changes for mean temperatures, then converted any negative values to positive . (This stops negative changes from cancelling out positive ones). Finally I have added a 10 year running average. Figure 1 shows the results.



Figure 1


There has only been one year on year change of note in recent years, when temperatures bounced back in 2011 from the cold year before. But this change is dwarfed by some of the changes in earlier decades and centuries.. More importantly, the 10 year average is low by comparison with much of the earlier record. This suggests that temperatures in the last decade or so have been much less volatile.

Of course, annual numbers may cover up large fluctuations during the year. For instance, a cold winter and hot summer would cancel out, leaving an annual average temperature that looked “normal”. So, let’s extend the exercise to winter and summer seasonal temperatures, as shown in Figures 2 and 3.



Figure 2




Figure 3


In both winter and summer, year on year variations in recent years are pretty normal, or even low, when compared with the historical record.


I commented yesterday


Could it be that the Professor is overreacting to the events of just one year, or is not aware of the historical facts? It is difficult to understand how a top scientist could make such basic errors, but it is hard to come to any other conclusion.


It increasingly looks as if I was right. Coming hard on the heels of Environment Agency head, Chris Smith, making unsupportable claims about convective rain without first checking , it appears that facts no longer matter to our public servants.

Still, I suppose we should at least count ourselves lucky that we have not got a crackpot like John Holdren replacing Sir John!

  1. March 27, 2013 2:34 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings.

  2. Mickey permalink
    March 27, 2013 3:30 pm

    Well done.

  3. lapogus permalink
    March 28, 2013 6:44 am

    Yes, well done. another clear and irrefutable exposition of Beddington’s false and agenda-driven ‘scientific’ advice. If he does not have the ability to analyse or understand recent climate data perhaps the Met Office should be stepping in to better advise Government Ministers? Does Slingo not realise that she has a responsibility to ensure that the decision makers (and the BBC) are not pursuing/supporting polices based on blatant misinformation?

    And to put last year’s extreme wet summer (in England) in context, the total rainfall for England was still lower than the Scottish long term average. And if a little extra CO2 was responsible for England’s wet summer, was it also responsible for the drought like conditions which affected the north-west of Scotland from March through to August?

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: