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Project Fear From Lord Krebs

July 13, 2016

By Paul Homewood  




The Telegraph reports (and it’s not even little Emily!):


Heatwaves fierce enough to kill thousands will become the norm in the UK within 30 years due to climate change, a report prepared for the Government warns.

Repeats of the extreme heat seen in 2003 that killed more than 2,000 people are likely to become routine by the 2040s, leaving the ageing population at particular risk.

The Committee on Climate Change, an independent body that advises the Government, said people living in newer homes faced a greater risk of overheating than those in older properties.

The new analysis also found that the potential for future floods put the viability of some conurbations under threat.


Project Fear is alive and kicking!!

The report they are referring to is the Committee on Climate Change’s UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2017, produced by the Adaptation Sub-Committee, chaired by Lord Krebs. Krebs, a zoologist whose speciality is ornithology, was Chairman of the Food Standards Agency between 2000 and 2005, which no doubt qualifies him well to sit on the Committee on Climate Change!


The Report’s main findings are:



1) The impacts of flooding and coastal change in the UK are already significant and expected to increase as a result of climate change.


I am quite sure the impacts of flooding are significant, just as they have always been.

The Report, however, offers little evidence that it has become worse or been affected by global warming. From Page 21:


Rainfall: There has been a significant upward trend in annual rainfall over Scotland, to a level more than 10% above the average during the early decades of the 20th century. Smaller, non-statistically significant increases in annual rainfall have also occurred over Northern Ireland, England and Wales in recent decades (Kendon et al., 2015). More winter rainfall has fallen as heavy precipitation during the last thirty years, and there have been increases in winter run-off and high river flows (Watts et al., 2015). These changes are consistent with projected global rainfall patterns in a warming climate but it is not possible at this stage to attribute them unambiguously to climate change. The relatively short rainfall and river gauge records in the UK may also understate the current risk of extreme rainfall.


The following graph is also produced:



This is based on the flawed Kendon study, that attempts to draw a trend from 1960. As flood expert, Prof Stuart Lane of Durham University, has shown, the period since the early 1960s and until the late 1990s appears to be relatively flood free, especially when compared with some periods in the late 19th century and early 20th Century.

And as another expert, Aberystwyth University’s Prof Mark Macklin revealed earlier this year, his researchers had found "evidence of much larger and more frequent floods" in the 18th century, which were between 20% and 30% larger. 


2) Heatwaves in the UK like that experienced in 2003 are expected to become the norm in summer by the 2040s.

The average number of hot days per year has been increasing since the 1960s,


There is in fact no evidence that summers have been getting hotter in recent decades. The summer of 1976 remains by far the hottest in England.

Since 2006, cool summers have predominated.





As for hot days, there has only been one day over 30C since 2006 in the CET. In contrast, there were four in 1975, and nine the following year.






The Report goes on to claim:

“currently 2,000 people die prematurely each year in the UK from heat-related conditions.”

Yet summer is the time of year when daily death rates are at their lowest.




No mention is made of the fact that 43900 excess deaths occurred last winter, a fact that would put their claim into perspective.  

This is little more than a disgraceful piece of scaremongering, designed to conjure up images of people lying in bed, gasping for breath.

No evidence is provided for the claim that “currently 2,000 people die prematurely each year in the UK from heat-related conditions”, and the ONS don’t publish any such data.

If “Killer Heatwaves” really are killing 2000 people each year, then we perhaps we should also be worried about the number of people killed by “Killer Mild Weather in May”, or “Killer Showery Weather in April”.   


3) Climate change is projected to reduce the amount of water in the environment that can be sustainably withdrawn whilst increasing the demand for irrigation during the driest months


In reality, there is little in the way of rainfall trends since 1910, and certainly not towards more drought. 




The Report raises particular concerns about the effect of drought in East Anglia, one of the driest parts of the country, (page 36). Yet, according to the Met Office, there has been no trend in rainfall there either since 1910:





4) The affordability of food for the UK population is subject to domestic and international risks affecting production and prices

Extreme weather events affecting international production, trade and supply chains could make food prices volatile with occasional spikes. Longer-term incremental changes in climate are likely to alter the agricultural productivity of regions that are important for global food production.


The Report conveniently ignores the fact that agricultural yields have been steadily rising since the 1960s, both in the UK and the world as a whole, regardless of what the climate has thrown at them. (It is worth noting the sharp drop in UK yields in 2012, the summer when it rained non stop).






5) The impacts of new and emerging pests and diseases are potentially high for otherwise healthy people, animals and plants. The warmer, wetter conditions expected with climate change will allow some pests and diseases to extend their range.

Apparently, we’re going to have wetter conditions, at the same time as we have droughts!

Time and again, proper scientists have shown these sort of claims are nonsense. But it does not stop the Report from begging:

 Nationally and internationally there is a need for more research to understand how pest and disease outbreaks can be contained.

Translation  – send us more money!




The detail of the Report also includes a couple of paragraphs, which are worth commenting on:


1) Sea levels: Average UK sea levels have risen at a rate of around 1.4 +/- 0.2 mm per year since 1901, close to the global average rate of change.


For some reason, they do not think it relevant to tell us that the rate of sea level rise has not been accelerating, and that it was rising faster around the mid 20thC.

Some might think such an omission was dishonest.







2) Wind storms: The frequency of severe autumn and winter wind storms increased between 1950 and 2003 although storminess in recent decades is not considered unusual in the context of longer European records dating back to the early 20th century (Allen et al., 2009). Wind speeds show a very slight decline across the UK in all regions except the south-east, which shows a slight increase. These changes are consistent with climate projections for the UK but uncertainties are large.

So, nothing much has changed in storminess, in terms of the long term. Apparently this is consistent with climate projections.





The overriding conclusion is that the CCC have produced a deliberately scaremongering report, based on very little evidence and a huge amount of modelling.

In particular, they have failed to provide any evidence that the small amount of warming seen in the UK has had any deleterious effect at all.

It seems the only purpose has been to generate headlines, like this one from the BBC:



Climate change could have a domino effect on key infrastructure in the UK, government advisers have warned.

In a 2,000-page report, the Climate Change Committee says flooding will destroy bridges – wrecking electricity, gas and IT connections carried on them.

The committee also warns that poor farming means the most fertile soils will be badly degraded by mid-century.

And heat-related deaths among the elderly will triple to 7,000 a year by the 2050s as summer temperatures rise.

  1. July 13, 2016 12:15 pm

    Shameless agenda pushing. Cherry picking at it’s finest, not to mention outright lying.

  2. Joe Public permalink
    July 13, 2016 12:15 pm

    Of course, no mention is made of the fact that ‘European seasonal mortality and influenza incidence due to winter temperature variability’ published in Nature Climate Change states:

    “……warmer winters will contribute to the decrease in winter mortality everywhere in Europe.”

  3. July 13, 2016 12:21 pm

    ‘And heat-related deaths among the elderly will triple to 7,000 a year by the 2050s as summer temperatures rise.’

    So it’s ‘will’ now, not ‘could’. Easy to say when you know you won’t be around to be embarrassed by your fatuous nonsense in 2050.

  4. Broadlands permalink
    July 13, 2016 12:40 pm

    Amazing disdain for history and the facts history provides. From an ornithologist? The report is “for the birds”.

  5. Bloke down the pub permalink
    July 13, 2016 12:52 pm

    All these predictions for what the climate will be like in thirty years time. So what happened to all the predictions that were made thirty years ago, for today’s climate? Do they have any grounds for being more confident this time around?

  6. AlecM permalink
    July 13, 2016 12:58 pm

    The man is a dangerous demagogue pretending to be an objective scientist whilst betraying his father’s legacy.

  7. AlecM permalink
    July 13, 2016 1:01 pm

    PS, snow is forecast above 2500 m in Bavaria this week, unprecedented for July:

    The new Little Ice Age is advancing rapidly. There is near zero CO2-AGW.

    • A C Osborn permalink
      July 13, 2016 1:32 pm

      Alec, not just Bavaria, Ther has ben snow in 3 states in the USA & Aderlaide, there could be snow in Tasmania.
      Most snow seen in Venezuela.
      Very Cold in various places, as you say it is showing the signs of cooling on the way.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      July 14, 2016 6:40 am

      Forecast for French Alps too, not sure if it actually snowed though.

  8. roger permalink
    July 13, 2016 1:09 pm

    They still don’t get it do they?
    The cries of WOLF built throughout the 21C reaching a crescendo of lies and disinformation during the EU referendum that sickened the majority of a now wised up population.
    Two plus two may well make four but increasingly, people will now ask to see the maths behind it.

  9. July 13, 2016 1:27 pm

    The BBC radio and other sources reported it as :
    – Scary Scary problem : certain future heatwaves
    – Magic solution : French style window shutters

    Exercise in constructive PR. Show a a solution ..

  10. Tim Hammond permalink
    July 13, 2016 1:43 pm

    ” Smaller, non-statistically significant increases..”

    Surely an increase that is not statistically significant compared to no increase is nt actually an increase? Isn’t that the point?

    • July 13, 2016 3:52 pm

      I think it means that there is no evidence that the changes are not just random natural variation

  11. July 13, 2016 1:43 pm

    More news from the Alternative Reality of Guardian ZombieLand
    “Billionaires bought Brexit – they are controlling our venal political system” George Monbiot

  12. July 13, 2016 1:55 pm

    Here is a true story which you may not have seen.

    Heavy rain events, defined as producing 3 inches or more in a 6-hour or less time period and/or 4 inches or more in a 12-hour or less time period, are known to occur mainly during the summer months across the southern Appalachian region due to the prevalence of convective events. West Virginia just experienced a humdinger.

    On June 23, a storm system originally forming around the Great Lakes came diagonally NW-SE across West Virginia with repeated rounds of thunderstorms. Between 10-11 inches of rain fell within 36 hours causing catastrophic floods across the area. In what is termed “a 1000-year flood”, water rose so fast that people only had time to run from their homes to higher ground. Twenty-three lost their lives. Thankfully, I have yet to hear the usual suspects blame this on “man-caused climate change.” These storm systems periodically devastate areas of the mid- and southern Appalachians.

    FEMA is showing more talk than action–no surprise. However, West Virginians don’t wait for government at these times. Many faith-based organizations, the National Guard, WV DNR (now trained in swift-water rescues), Salvation Army and individuals came in immediately to help with the massive rescue and clean-up. Donated supplies and food poured in. One gentleman, was Anthony from London, who hearing of the floods on media, flew from London to Charlotte, NC rented a truck, loaded it with supplies and headed up to Clendenin, a town very hard hit. He stayed with a local resident he met and helped with cleanup.

    People are getting supplies, sports and band equipment together for flooded schools. Mountain Mission in Charleston is acting as a hub for distributing donated items throughout the flood region which includes a number of counties. For the past week, I’ve been washing feather pillows, sheet sets and wool blankets from a large family stash. A local music store went over my jr. high/H.S. cornet for free. I added a new bottle of valve oil and it will go to a youngster who lost an instrument. Very soon, my Ford van will be heading to that hub loaded to the gills with all sorts of things collected by members of my Daughters of the American Revolution Chapter. We consider this a several year project to put peoples’ lives back to a semblance of normality.

    As I said–thankfully, the usual suspects have not been using this to promote their agenda.

    • Billy Liar permalink
      July 13, 2016 8:46 pm

      The Johnstown Flood was initiated by ‘6 to 10 inches of rain in 24 hours’. Two 1000-year floods in only 130 years.

      • July 15, 2016 1:36 pm

        But in very different areas and not caused by the same storms.

      • July 18, 2016 9:40 am

        One of the problems that happens with all the reporting on flooding is the concept of a 1 in 100 year event, which people, including politicians, take literally. It is considerably more complex than that as explained here: It relates to storms in Atlanta GA in 2009.

        “Meteorologists, climatologists and hydrologists calculate 100-year events as a statistical tool to determine the likelihood of intense storms or floods. For example, meteorologists use the average year-to-year rainfall in a given area to figure out the chances of having a storm of potentially epic proportions, explained Pam Knox, Assistant State Climatologist of Georgia.

        “What it means is that every year there’s a 1-in-100 chance of one of these happening,” she told LiveScience.

        So while these events have a lower statistical likelihood of happening than your average thunderstorm, they can and do happen, sometimes within just a few years of each other.

        If you live on any floodplain, the chances are about 1-in-2 that you will experience a flood in your lifetime, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

        The floods that wreaked havoc in the Midwest in 2007 and 2008 were both 500-year floods, according to one USGS official. Five hundred-year floods (and 50, 25, 10 or whatever interval you want to use) work on the same logic as 100-year events.

        More at Cliscep:

  13. Jackington permalink
    July 13, 2016 1:56 pm

    I’ve read so many of these scare stories over the years that they now seem so obviously made up out of original duff gen compounded with gross exaggeration by self serving propagandists so as to become worthless and counterproductive. Keep ’em coming I say; everyone will cotton on eventually.

  14. Dave Ward permalink
    July 13, 2016 2:39 pm

    “The Report raises particular concerns about the effect of drought in East Anglia, one of the driest parts of the country”

    Yet the EDP (astonishingly) points out that Climate Change could actually have some benefits!

    “The NFU recognises that climate change will bring opportunities as well as threats to farmers and growers in East Anglia,” said Brian Finnerty, regional spokesman for the National Farmer’s Union

  15. tom0mason permalink
    July 13, 2016 3:15 pm

    “Ho hum, look dear there’s another climate catastrophe coming.”
    “Umm, in that case I’ll have another cup of tea and listen to the radio.”

  16. July 13, 2016 3:43 pm

    This report is dead on arrival since it unverifiable as they make assumptions of far into the future climate that can’t be tested for veracity.

    More climate babble is what they produced.

    Where oh where are the principles of the Scientific Method in this … “report” ?

  17. It doesn't add up... permalink
    July 13, 2016 5:56 pm

    A Krebs report – fit for the recycling and nothing else.

    • July 13, 2016 11:10 pm

      Citric acid of course ?

    • Derek Buxton permalink
      July 14, 2016 9:39 am

      If I remember correctly a Krebbs was the one who destroyed a cheese maker in I think the NE. It was a blue cheese and from memory as he had found mites in the cheese the whole stock was destroyed. I am thinking of applying for a Professorship, I understand the eat well and are paid as well…..what a lovely lazy life!

  18. July 13, 2016 6:46 pm

    Thanks Paul! i appreciate how much time it and attention it takes to wade through this obvious nonsense – just a shame how this dreck it is being shilled by media outlets.

  19. July 13, 2016 11:09 pm

    I live in coastal SE Queensland Australia. I know lots of British “ex-pats” who migrated here.

    Coastal SE Queensland has an average temperature of ~22 degrees C – significantly higher than the global average or the UK for that matter.

    For over 6 months of the year the temperature rarely drops below 25 – 30 during the day and 15 – 20 overnight. 30+ degree C days are common in October – March even April and sometimes May.

    None of the UK migrants have any intention of returning to the cold and we haven’t lost any yet to heat.

    My sister’s mother in law has been living in this “killing heat” for over 40 years and is well into her 90’s.

    Why are Europeans worried about a few days of balmy weather when billions survive far higher temperatures than they will ever be likely to have to tolerate ?

  20. mikewaite permalink
    July 14, 2016 8:41 am

    Lord Krebs turned up on BBC’s “Countryfile” last weekend supporting a Tom Heap campaign to stop British people eating red meat. Apparently meat rearing produces 9% of UK emissions of CO2 , and Heap was advocating halving that by more arable farming . Not just small scale arable either , he appeared, unless I misunderstood the arguement , to be supporting the massive prairie type farms run by a few very rich businesses , coincidentally of the sort that make up the audience in lectures on adapting to climate change.
    Of course Tom Heap did not point out that the change in global emission that this drastic change to small farmers , to the catering and tourist business and to individual eating habits would make a difference to global emission of CO2 of 0.5 x 0.09 x 0.02 = 0.0009 or < 0.1% .

    • July 14, 2016 9:15 pm

      Fallacy anyway ..The fallacy of theoretical is not necessarily anyway near reality.
      – Just like the way wind power probably actually increases CO2, as you spend a vast amount on infrastructure upfront RIGHT NOW plus the extra transmission cabling , and cause massive inefficiencies with the rest of network mechanism, throughout the working life.

  21. Bloke down the pub permalink
    July 14, 2016 6:40 pm

    With the DECC having today been eviscerated by the new Prime Minister, can we expect the Climate Change Committee to go with it?

  22. Coue permalink
    July 14, 2016 7:42 pm

    I think there’s a real chance that Brexit will bring back climate sanity. Great to hear the news abput the DECC. Solar feed-in tariffs were oringinally 43 pence per KWH. Looking at the OFGEN website, if i’ve got this right, it’s now four pence? someone has woken up on the taxpayers’ behalf

  23. Coeur de Lion permalink
    July 14, 2016 7:50 pm

    It’s bound to happen if they go on producing stuff like this. The CCC costs money too.

  24. July 15, 2016 10:08 pm

    The advertising website writes it up Drought and heat we last saw 13 years ago will become the norm in 24 years.

  25. P.R. Clark permalink
    July 21, 2016 3:19 am

    Obviously what we as humans have here is is the big sell job. Repetition as truth or misinformation to persuade. Keep finding science data sets that do not support the rhetoric. Most of the claims read seem to be over the top statements rather than peer reviewed work.

  26. July 21, 2016 8:46 am

    Thought of the day.

    Did the repeated claims of “hot summers” from climate “Experts” in the media when weeks later is poured down, help brit exit ? with “the world is going to end nonsense”. that was peddled by the remain camp ? I.E we have heard numerous scare story’s from “experts” over the years. The claims and scares invariably torn to rubbish.

    Climate alarmist probably did Brit exit a massive favor with the repeated claims of doom over the past 20 years, which invariably don’t occur.

    Thats why “experts” predicting economic armageddon sounded so familiar to the public… we have heard this nonsense before……


  1. This British Heatwave Has Nothing to do With 'Global Warming'

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