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Can Slingo Get Anything Right?

February 10, 2014

By Paul Homewood




Last April, Julia Slingo told us that “climate change was loading the dice towards freezing, drier weather.”


Apparently, she actually meant milder, wetter weather.







The report in the Sun, is based around an interview with ITN News, where Slingo makes exactly the same comments as reported in the Sun.

  1. February 10, 2014 12:43 pm

    Julia’s varied pronouncements remind me of the ‘Infinite monkey theorem’.

  2. February 10, 2014 12:46 pm

    I am always deeply suspicious of anything I read in The Sun.

    Here is what the Met Office actually said in its analysis of the extremely cold start to Spring 2013:

    March 2013 was exceptionally cold in the UK, as well as the North Atlantic and European region more generally, in the context of the last 50 years. Such climate ‘events’ lead to increased interest from the public, media, government and businesses in both the impacts of the weather on our livelihoods and infrastructure, and in the drivers of significant weather.

    As is ever the case, the conditions that led to a cold March are linked to a number of different and often inter-related factors. This can also be said of the cold winter of 2010/11, the UK drought in 2010/12 and extreme summer rainfall in 2012. This makes it difficult to definitively attribute a particular ‘event’ to one simple explanation, which can make communicating the science drivers more complicated and nuanced than some audiences may wish. On the other hand, this simply reflects the richness and complexity of our climate system, which drives the weather that we experience on a daily basis.

    Whilst the cold March 2013 weather is certainly unusual, it is not unprecedented or outside the expected natural variability of our climate. There is particularly heightened interest in the role of the Arctic on the UK’s weather, given rapid changes in Arctic sea ice, and on the likely changes we may observe given future decline. It is worth re-emphasising, however, that while changes in the Arctic are consistent with predisposing the climate system to cold weather in northern Europe, this is only one possible driver among several potential factors which could account for the cold March weather. What we have still to understand is the degree to which our changing climate may alter the likelihood and intensity of extreme events. With the rapidly changing Arctic, this is now high on the research agenda.

    • February 10, 2014 1:27 pm

      She was also interviewed on ITV News, and said exactly the same as reported by the Sun.

    • mkelly permalink
      February 10, 2014 2:09 pm

      Please note your quoted analysis says nothing about CO2.

    • J Asquith permalink
      February 10, 2014 3:38 pm

      The Met Office statement seems to be assuming what cannot yet be known.

      “There is particularly heightened interest in the role of the Arctic on the UK’s weather, given rapid changes in Arctic sea ice, and on the likely changes we may observe given future decline”.

      In fact I don’t think this sentence makes any sense at all, other than to suggest that a future conclusion has been fixed and therefore all current evidence must be made to serve.

  3. February 10, 2014 1:23 pm

    Qualcun, maybe you are equally suspicious of the Guardian –

    Met Office: Arctic sea-ice loss linked to colder, drier UK winters

    Decreasing amounts of ice in the far north is contributing to colder winters and drought, chief scientist Julia Slingo tells MPs

    The reduction in Arctic sea ice caused by climate change is playing a role in the UK’s recent colder and drier winter weather, according to the Met Office.

    Speaking to MPs on the influential environmental audit committee about the state of the warming Arctic, Julia Slingo, the chief scientist at the Met Office, said that decreasing amounts of ice in the far north was contributing to colder winters in the UK and northern Europe as well as to drought.

  4. February 10, 2014 2:15 pm

    THE GUARDIAN (13/June/2013): “ Washout summers. Flash floods. Freezing winters. Snow in May. Droughts. There is a growing sense that something is happening to our weather. But is it simply down to natural variability, or is climate change to blame? To try to answer the question the Met Office is hosting an unprecedented meeting of climate scientists and meteorologists next week to debate the possible causes of the UK ‘s “disappointing” weather over recent years, the Guardian has learned. … The “roundtable workshop” will attempt to outline the “dynamical drivers of the cold spring of 2013”, but attendees are expected also to debate the “disappointing summers of the last seven years”. Link to Met Office 30 May 2013 “Coldest spring for more than 50 years” :

    How regional N-Europe seas contribute to cold spring 2013!! (excerpt from: ) ,
    __Since early March 2013 the northeast Atlantic and the North Sea are unusual cold []. The extreme anomaly continued in April []. During both months the Baltic Sea remained below average sea water temperatures (SST), but less severe as in the North Sea. That changed in early May []. Since then extreme difference established between the two seas during the last four weeks. The North Sea remained cold. The Baltic Sea SST rose well above normal. Also SST west and south of the UK remained low. A main culprit in an unpleasant spring 2013 had been too low SST around Great Britain. .

    • Brian H permalink
      February 10, 2014 11:50 pm

      These are “disappointing” summers and winters because they knock the models and Met forecasts for a cocked hat.

  5. February 10, 2014 3:43 pm

    Hey Met Office !
    Shut Up
    or put up
    ……… go and get some proper scientific evidence
    …. otherwise you are just damm scaremongering

  6. A C Osborn permalink
    February 10, 2014 5:16 pm

    They are just lying to cover you know who’s backside, for those who can’t guess a certain statement was made during PM’s question time.

    • Brian H permalink
      February 10, 2014 11:51 pm

      whose who’s

  7. Paul permalink
    February 10, 2014 5:38 pm

    Ahh, Julia Slingyourhook. I know the one.

  8. February 10, 2014 6:06 pm

    Reblogged this on CraigM350.

  9. Andy DC permalink
    February 10, 2014 6:32 pm

    Some unusual weather event is bound to happen somewhere in the whole wild world. If somewhere in the world, some weather records of some type are being challenged or broken, that is the normal course of weather. You would have to be an idiot to think otherwise.

  10. February 11, 2014 4:06 pm

    Reblogged this on Power To The People and commented:
    UK Met Office becoming a laughing stock 13 out of last 14 climate forecasts have been botched. So why does the IPCC and the EPA use them as a justification to kill the US coal industry?


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