Nailing The “Increasing Rainfall” Lie
By Paul Homewood
I will be doing a detailed report on the Somerset floods this week, but I really had to respond to some more nonsense, apparently spouted by a so called scientist in the Sunday Telegraph this week.
In a report by Andrew Gilligan, the relative merits were being discussed, as to whether the Somerset Levels should be allowed to return to their natural state or properly dredged again.
“I’ve lived in around seven temporary places in the last year and a bit, I’m just sick of it,” says Keith Madge.
“I’ve worked all my life to get something like this. Why should I give it up? The authorities just need to make a decision about what they’re going to do with the area. Do they want it for people to live in, or do they want it for animals?”
As it happens, most flood scientists see the issue in the same stark terms – but from the polar opposite side. Their answer to Mr Madge’s question is that, in the face of climate change and greatly increased rainfall, the Somerset Levels, and other flood-prone areas, should indeed be gradually abandoned by humans.
Retreat is the only sensible policy,” says Colin Thorne, professor of physical geography at Nottingham University and a leading flood expert. “If we fight nature, we will lose in the end.”
It is not totally clear whether the good professor actually made the comment about “increased rainfall” or not. But, either way, it is time to get the record straight.
When we talk of flooding in Somerset, it is nearly always a winter event, and the reason is easy to see. Climatologically, the four wettest months of the year are October through January. February and March also tend to be slightly higher than the summer months.
So, the question is simple. Is rainfall increasing for those six “winter months”. (This concept of Oct – March is a well established one, by the way). From the Met Office precipitation data for SW England & S Wales, we get the following plot. (Obviously, the figures don’t include this current winter).
So, no, there is no evidence that “winter” rainfall is increasing.
If Professor Thorne really did make that comment, he should be ashamed of himself for not bothering to check the facts first. And even if he did not, he still stands accused of not correcting the misconception, that other “flood scientists” are reported to have.