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Met Office: If At First You Don’t Succeed … Double Down

November 27, 2018

By Paul Homewood


Andrew Montford on the new set of UK Climate Predictions:



The Met Office has today released the latest iteration of the official climate predictions that it periodically issues to the country. The last iteration, UKCP09, provided considerable entertainment to climate watchers, after Nic Lewis discovered a major error in the underlying mathematical model, essentially making the entire exercise worthless. The chief scientist at the Met Office at the time, Julia Slingo, actually admitted Lewis’s central point, but unfortunately the country continued to use UKCP09 as if everything was fine and dandy. Letters from GWPF to the government chief scientist Patrick Vallance, and to the CSO at Defra, Ian Boyd, pointing out that it might not be very clever to use a set of predictions that were known to have a fatal flaw brought back responses along the lines of (on the one hand) “the guys are doing a great job” and (on the other) “UKCP18 is coming anyway”. Bureaucracies cannot ever lose face.

Anyway, rather than trawl through UKCP18 today, I thought it might be amusing to look at the first iteration of the UK’s climate predictions, which was called UKCIP02, in order to see how the predictions are getting on now 16 years have elapsed from its publication in 2002. Unfortunately, the relevant web pages are no longer available, but I found a report on the subject from the BBC, which gives me enough to work on.

So apparently, UKCIP02 reckoned that UK temperatures would be rising pretty fast (grocer’s apostrophe in original):

Annual average temperatures look set to rise by between 2C and 3.5C by the 2080’s.

We are now 20% of the way between 2002 and 2080, so you might expect something approaching 20% of that warming to have taken place – in other words between 0.4 and 0.7°C. In fact warming trends are meant to gradually increase, so something just shy of 0.4°C would still represent a good performance by the Met Office predictions.

So how have UK temperatures evolved since 2002? I’ve updated one of the graphs we used for Paul Homewood’s GWPF paper on the state of the UK climate, highlighting 2002 (pink circle) and the 0.4-0.7°C range (pink rectangle).

It’s not looking good, is it?

As Homewood points out in his report, UK temperatures have actually been falling slightly since the millennium.

At this point, two thoughts occurred to me. Firstly the temperature in 2001, which was presumably when the UKCIP02 predictions were finalised, was considerably lower than in 2002, so my choice of a 2002 baseline was perhaps a little unfair. Secondly though, thoughts about baselining issues reminded me that it’s far better to look at trends, so that the baseline is not an issue.

The next graph therefore shows the trend since 2001 and the range of the UKCIP02 projections (still with the caveat about whether a straight line warming expectation is strictly correct).

It’s still not looking good, is it?

There is, of course, a great deal on interannual variability in the data, so I guess they might argue that all is not lost, but nevertheless, you might think that the latest set of predictions, UKCP18, might be quite cautious on temperature predictions.

And you’d be wrong. In fact, the Met Office seems entirely undeterred by this evidence that they might be overstating warming. In UKCP18, they are making the following prediction:

Summer temperatures could be up to 5.4 °C hotter by 2070, while winters could be up to 4.2 °C warmer

They give an even higher figure for summer temperatures in Wales. That means that summer temperatures are going to increase by over 0.1 °C per year, up to four times faster than the rates they predicted in UKCIP02 and which already look to be overstated.


I’ll be looking at the detail of UKCP18 later, although at first sight it is little different to previous versions, which my paper for GWPF comprehensively debunked.

  1. November 27, 2018 11:18 am

    As the muppets at the Met Office cannot forecast our weather accurately a few days or so in advance, how in the name of all that’s sensible do they expect their “in 50 year’s time the weather will be…..” forecasts to be taken seriously? It would be funny if it wasn’t wasting some much of our money.

  2. November 27, 2018 11:59 am

    The core issue in climate science is the responsiveness of surface temperature to changes in atmos CO2 concentration. And yet that is at once what we talk about the least and what, in terms of statistical flaws, is the worst.

    Please see (3 links below)

    • Bloke down the pub permalink
      November 27, 2018 12:15 pm

      Haven’t seen much from you on twitter chaam. Glad to see you’re still in the land of the living.

    • Jack Broughton permalink
      November 29, 2018 4:30 pm

      I really like the spurious correlations examples and the de-bunking of the TCRE. The TCRE looks impressive at first sight, but is another case of misuse of facts by the campaign to ruin the world. The calculated climate sensitivities are massively over-predicted by the use of an incorrect grey-gas model and this faulty calculation is the basis for all of the Radiant Forcing Factors that drive the models.

  3. November 27, 2018 12:09 pm

    We’ve used ‘meteoblue’ for a few years; found it surprisingly accurate (± 2hrs over a 3 day window) just put your postcode or location in. –

  4. Bloke down the pub permalink
    November 27, 2018 12:13 pm

    They’ve obviously assumed that because the last few years have seen below expected increase, the following period will average out and see above expected increase. Double or quits.

  5. Dave Ward permalink
    November 27, 2018 2:20 pm

    “Summer temperatures could be up to 5.4 °C hotter by 2070”

    Hardly surprisingly, the Beeb wheeled out David Shukman onto the 10 o’clock news last night quoting the above, and various other scary figures. Then the local news joined in as well… Do they REALLY think we still believe this crap?

  6. November 27, 2018 3:00 pm

    The Met Office are backing the wrong climate horse with their CO2-based climate models. Betting bigger will just lose bigger/faster.

  7. Athelstan permalink
    November 27, 2018 3:49 pm

    More junk science and thoroughly debunked and issuing from a government payrolled and controlled bunch of wet office computer geek obsessed fantasists, as they say it’s GIGO: garbage in garbage out.

    • dennisambler permalink
      November 27, 2018 11:50 pm

      But it will continue to be quoted and will be used as justification for policy measures, so that “we” look good when they try to move the Paris Agreement into legal form.

      The BBC will not quote Paul, because they cannot allow facts to get in the way of the story.

  8. dennisambler permalink
    November 27, 2018 11:57 pm


    “Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett today warned of a sharper and sooner-than-many-might-have-been-expected impact across the UK from climate change in coming decades. This follows publication today of a new report on climate scenarios.

    The key findings of the report are :

    The country’s climate will become warmer. Annual temperatures averaged across the UK may rise by between 2 and 3.5 oC by the 2080s.

    The degree of warming will be different in different parts of the UK and will depend the level of global greenhouse gas emissions. Warming will generally be greatest in parts of the southeast, where temperatures may rise by up to 5 oC in summer by the 2080s.

    Winters will become wetter and summers may become drier across all of the UK. The largest relative changes will be in the south and east where summer precipitation may decline by up to 50% by the 2080s.

    Heavy winter precipitation will become more frequent, but the amount of snow may decline by 60% or more in parts of Scotland and up to 90% elsewhere by the 2080s, depending on region and scenario.

    Sea-levels are expected to rise around the UK. In line with previous predictions, sea-levels could be between 26 and 86 cm above the current level in southeast England by the 2080s.

    This means that, at some east coast locations, extreme sea-levels that currently have a 2% chance of occurring in any given year, could occur between 10 and 20 times more frequently by the 2080s.

    Immingham near Grimsby, an East coast port currently expects a water level of 1.5m every 120 years on average – according to today’s report this level could occur once every seven years in the 2080s.

    The Gulf Stream may weaken in future but it is unlikely to completely ‘switch off’, or lead to a cooling of the UK climate within the next 100 years.”

  9. Derek Buxton permalink
    November 28, 2018 11:42 am

    Are the green blob panicking, all this week the morning BBC News has been about Climate Change and how bad it will be. For my part, I do not want to die from hypothermia because an idiot like Gove makes me unable to pay my energy Bill. As far I can tell, we are subject to a global fraud system straight from the UN and our politicians do not care how many of us die so they can virtue signal!

  10. R2Dtoo permalink
    November 28, 2018 8:10 pm

    Don’t you just love the terminology ..”could be up to..” Pick an endpoint – any endpoint!

  11. November 30, 2018 3:06 am

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

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