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BBC’s Latest Heatwave Lies

December 7, 2018

By Paul Homewood

 

h/t Philip Bratby

 

 

The BBC are happy to trumpet the latest misleading propaganda from the Met Office:

 

image

Climate change has significantly boosted the chances of having summer heatwaves in the UK.

A Met Office study says that the record-breaking heat seen in 2018 was made about 30 times more likely because of emissions from human activity.

Without warming the odds of a UK heatwave in any given year were less than half a percent.

But a changing climate means this has risen to 12%, or about once every eight years.

The blazing summer of 2018 was the joint warmest for the UK.

It tied with 1976, 2003 and 2006 for being the highest since records began in 1910.

The steep temperatures that sustained across most parts of the UK, peaked on July 27 when 35.6C was recorded at Felsham in Suffolk.

Now researchers have analysed the observed data using climate models that can simulate the world with or without the impact of fossil fuel emissions.

Announcing their findings at global climate talks in Katowice, Poland, UK Met Office researchers said that the impact of global warming on the hot summer were significant.

"Climate change has made the heatwave we had this summer much more likely, about 30 times more likely than it would have been had we not changed our climate through our emissions of greenhouse gases," said Prof Peter Stott, from the Met Office who carried out the analysis.

"If we look back over many centuries, we can see that the summer like 2018 was a very rare event before the industrial revolution when we started pumping out greenhouse gases into the atmosphere."

The researchers say that in a world without warming the chances of having a heatwave are around 0.4% every year. Climate change has tipped the odds significantly to around 12% every year. The historical record, they argue, strengthens their case.

"We have observational information in England going right back to 1659 and if you look at the period before we really started to affect our climate there was only one summer in 1826 that was warmer than 2018, in that whole 200 years of data there was only one year as warm as this, so that really bears out what we are saying.

A previous analysis carried out earlier this year by the World Weather Attribution group estimated that climate change had made the chances of a scorching summer twice as likely. So why does the Met Office study say that the impact of rising temperatures on the chances of such a warm event happening are far higher?

"Our study looked at the chances of having such high temperatures throughout the summer in the UK," said Prof Stott.

"If you focus on a particular few days at the peak of the heatwave over a broader area, as the other study did, then the chances are lower.

"But whichever way you look at it, there’s a very clear fingerprint of human activity on the atmosphere."

A number of recent studies have underlined the scale of the impacts that the burning of fossil fuels are having on the climate. Concentrations of carbon emissions reached a new record high this year according to a study from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Just yesterday, the Global Carbon Project showed that CO2 emissions in 2018 were projected to rise almost 3%, much to the concern of researchers.

While some people might argue that having very hot summers in the UK around once every eight years would be a good thing, Prof Stott said it was not a positive development.

"For many elderly vulnerable people this summer was not good news" he told BBC News.

"It’s the impacts on health, on agriculture, on transport, there are a lot of negative effects that we are just not used to."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-46462014 

 

 

Stott wrongly conflates (deliberately?) “average summer temperatures” with “heatwaves”.

If we look at the former, we see that average summer temperatures have risen in the last few decades, and that the summers of 1976, 2003, 2006 and 2018 were hotter than previous summers since 1910.

UK Mean temperature - Summer

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/summaries/actualmonthly

 

Equally we find that the coldest winters are not as cold now as they used to be.

UK Mean temperature - Winter

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/summaries/actualmonthly

 

But high temperatures averaged over summer as a whole are not the same as “heatwaves”.

This is how the Met Office themselves define heatwaves:

A heatwave is an extended period of hot weather relative to the expected conditions of the area at that time of year.

What is a heatwave?

A heatwave refers to a prolonged period of hot weather, which may be accompanied by high humidity. The World Meteorological Organization guidance around the definition of a heatwave is “A marked unusual hot weather (Max, Min and daily average) over a region persisting at least two consecutive days during the hot period of the year based on local climatological conditions, with thermal conditions recorded above given thresholds.” They are common in the northern and southern hemisphere during summer, but classification and impacts vary globally.

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/learning/temperature/heatwave

 

In other words, a heatwave is a period of unusually hot weather, not the summer as a whole.

The concept of local climatological conditions is also an extremely important one. A temperature that would be regarded as “heatwave” in one place may be normal in another. Heatwaves consequently are not defined absolutely, but relatively.

NHS England recognise this in their Heatwave Planning. Heatwave warnings are triggered, for instance, when temperatures reach 28C in the North East, but have to reach 32C in London.

The reason is simple – people who live in London are more used to higher temperatures than those in colder regions:

image

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/heatwave-plan-for-england

As average summer temperatures have increased since the 1980s, the definition of “unusually hot weather” has also got hotter. It is therefore incorrect to say that the chances of having a heatwave are around 0.4% every year. Climate change has tipped the odds significantly to around 12% every year.

The most dishonest part of the BBC article is the implication that, without climate change, the odds of having a heatwave would be 0.4%. But even in a cooler climate, this summer would still have been extremely hot, albeit not quite as hot.

I dare say that the good folk of Durham (av summer temp this year of 16.2C) regarded their summer heatwave in just the same way as the people of Oxford did (av temp 18.7C). In fact, the climatological average summer temperature for Oxford is 17.0C, higher than this year’s “heatwave” in Durham!

Even though the average summer temperature was record equalling this year, that tells us nothing about heatwaves. In fact, when we look at CET daily max temperatures, we find that there was only one solitary day over 30C this summer. Indeed there have only been three since 2006.

Such intense heat has been much more frequent in the past:

image

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/index.html

 

 

MWP and all that

In addition to the above misdirection Stott makes three claims, which need to be challenged.

1) We have observational information in England going right back to 1659 and if you look at the period before we really started to affect our climate there was only one summer in 1826 that was warmer than 2018, in that whole 200 years of data there was only one year as warm as this, so that really bears out what we are saying…..

But whichever way you look at it, there’s a very clear fingerprint of human activity on the atmosphere

He knows full well that the CET started at the depths of the Little Ice Age, and that summers were much warmer previously in the Middle Ages. HH Lamb estimated that summer temperatures then were between 0.7 and 1.0C warmer than the 20thC average in England.

Stott has no basis at all for his claim, unless he can show why natural changes are not responsible.

2) While some people might argue that having very hot summers in the UK around once every eight years would be a good thing, Prof Stott said it was not a positive development.

"For many elderly vulnerable people this summer was not good news" he told BBC News.

"It’s the impacts on health, on agriculture, on transport, there are a lot of negative effects that we are just not used to."

In fact, ONS data shows that death rates have been perfectly normal this summer, something Stott evidently did not bother to check!

e27bfa5a_thumb

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2018/12/04/excess-winter-deaths-highest-since-1976/

But even more dishonestly, he totally fails to mention that there are typically around 30,000 excess deaths in the UK during winter.

According to DEFRA, warmer winters could reduce premature deaths by between 3900 and 24000 a year by 2050.

To mention possible health problems from hotter summers without mentioning offsetting, and probably much greater, beneficial effects in winter is deceitful behaviour from a supposedly objective scientist.

3) While some people might argue that having very hot summers in the UK around once every eight years would be a good thing, Prof Stott said it was not a positive development.

"For many elderly vulnerable people this summer was not good news" he told BBC News.

"It’s the impacts on health, on agriculture, on transport, there are a lot of negative effects that we are just not used to."

There is no evidence that agriculture has suffered from the hot weather per se. What has had an effect is the lack of rain.

Naturally the two things, hot weather and lack of rain, tend to go hand in hand, as it is high pressure and sunny days which push temperatures up in summer.

However, the data shows that this summer was not abnormally dry by historical standards, and that summer rainfall trends have been little changed during the last century.

Put simply, whatever the temperature trends are, they have not affected summer rainfall.

UK Rainfall - Summer

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/summaries/actualmonthly

As for agriculture, it is little wonder that the Middle Ages were known as the Golden Age, as historian Brian Fagan wrote in his book, The Little Ice Age:

For five centuries, Europe basked in warm, settled weather, with only the occasional bitter winters, cool summers and memorable storms. Summer after summer passed with long, dreamy days, golden sunlight and bountiful harvests. Compared with what was to follow, these centuries were a climatic golden age.

It is cold, wet summers that farmers really fear.

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41 Comments
  1. December 7, 2018 8:25 pm

    It’s all based on climate models, which have no basis in reality and have never been validated. We all know what the IPCC has said about climate models, but you will never find Stott or the BBC admitting it. They are both serial propagandists and creators of fake news.

    Thanks Paul yet again for producing the evidence which reveals the truth and counters the propaganda.

    • Robert Fairless permalink
      December 7, 2018 8:48 pm

      With computer program modelling the result can be anything you want to make it and unfortunately it lends itself to either outright fraud or inaccurate input. A good example is the guesswork on ground temperature where thermometers are placed inappropriately or even absent.

      • Eddie P permalink
        December 8, 2018 12:59 pm

        Or to put more simply, as with any computer programme, garbage in equals garbage out.

  2. Broadlands permalink
    December 7, 2018 8:38 pm

    Does a DAILY max or DAILY min define a “heat wave” or a “cold snap”? Is it measured where urban heat effects add to it or lower it?

  3. Jon Scott permalink
    December 7, 2018 8:54 pm

    The language of sensationalism.
    I am sure I am not alone in noticing the poor quality of language seen so often in pronouncements by supposed climate scientists who expect to be taken seriously and sadly they are by the great unwashed. Even papers fed to cowtowing journals contain unacceptable levels of hyperbol. No journal worth it’s salt in my field would accept any paper run through with needless waffle or emotion However, As soon as I see it I know to start digging because this “News of the World” headlining is usual to hide much,

    First I must ask who ever write the PCBBC rot, either Stot or McGrath if they have any qualifications in English? I ask because of the following lazy English to “big up” the story

    I quote (my capitals) “If we look back over MANY centuries, we can see that the summer like 2018 was a very rare event before the industrial revolution when we started pumping out greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.”

    Since WHEN was 350 years approx MANY CENTURIES????? 3.5 of anything is a few NOT many! Do they ever read back their hypobol and indeed does anyone check it or does “being Gween” mean you can hide with your text in a safe space? Also the emotional use of the word “pumping” (for which both Stott andMcGrath must like you and me also be guilty). This suggests a deliberate act to mess with the atmosphere with no gain intended, NOT a consequence of creating the most advanced human civilization there has ever been.

    Secondly those observations back to 1650 need to be put in context. They were very sparse indeed

    Thirdly I would like to ask if anyone knows this suspicious global warming poster boy in Faversham that the BBC (Biased Broadcasting Collective) love to quote. I googled it and found a picture. It has a Stevenson.s Screen BUT was located about 1 meter from a concrete road. If this is correct then the site is totally unsuitable for recording official temperature data as it gets blasts of hot air from the road wafting into the screen. Can someone verify that this observation is correct? I am suspicious because the BBC used to quote another hot spot in the Thames Estuary which I remember had built up earth banks all around it creating it’s own microclimate and they had to be embarrassed into stopping using it because they were forever telling us gleefully that temperature as if ‘that was the temperature of the whole country which is what they infer.

    Follow on question. IF we are indeed cooking and burning up then WHY does the government still hand out money to help with house insulation? Their largess ( with your money and mine) usually only starts at our borders. Their generosity within our borders only extends to freeloaders and assorted hangers on. I would have thought if they really believed all the propaganda they would stop those grants in a heartbeat.

  4. December 7, 2018 8:56 pm

    Analysis of the probability of heatwaves (as per the WMO definition) shows that the probability of heatwaves during the natural early 20th century warming increased a similar amount. What is different now I wonder.

  5. Joe Public permalink
    December 7, 2018 9:06 pm

    3) While some people might argue that having very hot summers in the UK around once every eight years would be a good thing, Prof Stott said it was not a positive development.

    “For many elderly vulnerable people this summer was not good news” he told BBC News.

    Chart based upon Richard Tol info:

    • mothcatcher permalink
      December 9, 2018 10:58 am

      I note that deaths nearly halve in Wk.52, relative Wk 51 and 01.
      Used to hate Christmas, but boy is it good for staying alive! August Bank Holiday is pretty safe, as well.

  6. MrGrimNasty permalink
    December 7, 2018 9:23 pm

    It’s just the climate propaganda sausage machine.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6464297/This-summers-heatwave-30-times-likely-without-climate-change.html

    Best comment ‘not even fake news, an insult to the intelligence’.

    The DM may have sold its soul with the change of editor and be filling itself with climate/pollution propaganda daily, but the readership is still in touch with reality!

    • keith permalink
      December 8, 2018 10:16 am

      Not only has this new editor sold his soul to the crap warmist agenda, he is also a rabid remainer. Since he took over the DM is no longer a Leave supporter. So much for open discussion in the DM. Have now stopped reading it.

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        December 8, 2018 12:19 pm

        Yep, used to have to only put up with the remain tosh on Sunday, all week now!

  7. John F. Hultquist permalink
    December 7, 2018 9:37 pm

    Thanks Paul.

    With just a bit of clicking, I find:

    Prof Peter Stott
    Peter Stott is Professor in Detection and Attribution at the University of Exeter (20%) and Science Fellow in Attribution at the Met Office Hadley Centre for Science and Services (80%). He has an international reputation in the field of detection and attribution of climate change. He has published 141 papers in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, 11 of them in Nature and Science. His most influential paper, which has been cited 631 times (according to Web of Science) was the first to link an individual extreme weather event to climate change, the devastating European heatwave of 2003, that killed over 70,000 people.

    Uff da!

    Also:
    He co-founded the Weather, Art and Music initative, which has organised festivals, plays and concerts.

    I trust he knows more about festivals, plays, and concerts than he does about causation and correlation; about which he appears to know very little.

    • bobn permalink
      December 8, 2018 12:15 am

      So if global warming via increasing CO2 killed people in 2003 why hasnt the even greater CO2 since 2003 killed more people? Oh it hasnt! Because CO2 is irrelevant to climate as is the bullshit published by petty Peter the liar.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      December 8, 2018 9:23 am

      Anybody who links individual anythings using averages is a fraud.

  8. December 7, 2018 10:40 pm

    So…. my question about climate change
    to people is that the government and top scientists are not telling you the truth about these meteorological changes is the sun is getting closer to the earth the moon is getting further away from the earth definitely there will be a lot of changes in atmospheric changes also what about all these volcanos that erupt over the years surely I know that what gets released from volcanos is all kinds of gases , chemicals gets released into the atmosphere that harm our Atmosphere and what about all these space rockets , aeroplanes don’t they give off fumes that harm our Atmosphere ??? And
    also itt doesn’t help building a huge device that can and does change the atmospheric pressure and controls the weather the government , nasa etc…. all around the world are not telling the population of the world the truth .

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      December 8, 2018 12:18 pm

      Blimey…………..

  9. tom0mason permalink
    December 7, 2018 11:21 pm

    Yes BBC, overemphasizes the few hot weather events, but totally ignore the growing number of cold days and new cold records, and nonseasonal ice, snow, sleet, or hail.
    Like so many climate bułł$ħiŧŧers, the BBC appears to be pinning its hopes on a significant El Nino event happening over the next couple of years or so.

  10. bobn permalink
    December 8, 2018 12:12 am

    Yep. All bullshit.
    Idiot at Met office says:
    “It’s the impacts on health, on agriculture, on transport, there are a lot of negative effects that we are just not used to.”

    Pure bullshit. I am a UK fruit farmer and the UK had its largest and best quality crop ever of fruits in 2018. The impact of this lovely summer was huge quantity and quality of fruit harvests. Thats an impact we’d like every year please Mr met office moron!

    • December 8, 2018 7:09 am

      I agree. I had the best ever crop of apples, loganberries and tayberries this year. I almost got fed up of collecting homegrown blackberries and the wild ones were plentiful and delicious. My freezer is full of berries and I don’t know how we are going to get through all the cooking apples that are in store.

      I don’t know anybody down here (apart from the odd farmer; but they always find some weather not to their total liking) who didn’t think this summer was the best for a long time (since 1976 for those old enough to remember).

  11. Derek Colman permalink
    December 8, 2018 1:08 am

    We are actually now in a golden age similar to the MWP as described by Brian Fagan. We are having bumper harvests all around the world, with so much surplus we are able to turn a significant amount of the harvest into fuel for automobiles. Starvation and poverty in the world has been halved in recent years, and never before have so many people been adequately fed. We are in a population explosion because of the increase in food supply, food being the main regulator of population size for any species. This is about the sixth time I have posted this type of comment before, mainly in the Guardian and Independant. Needless to say they were previously awarded a lot of thumbs down by the miserable climate doom mongers who frequent those columns.

  12. Geoff Sherrington permalink
    December 8, 2018 1:56 am

    You are right to call this out.
    Any person who self-describes as a scientist and then produces non-scientific crap like this ought to hand in the badge and ride off into the sunset.
    I have written several articles in Australia about how the heat wave meme has been distorted. In the main capitals, there is little to no evidence that heat waves are becoming hotter, longer and/or more frequent. Our BOM has this evidence, but declines to consider it because it is not written in a peer-reviewed scientific paper.
    http://joannenova.com.au/2015/02/heatwaves-in-australia-not-longer-not-more-common-why-wont-bom-and-abc-say-that/

    It is past time that climate scientists possessing honour and rigour started calling out the non-scientific garbage that is all too common within the Establishment view of climate change.
    Geoff

    • December 8, 2018 7:12 am

      “Any person who self-describes as a scientist and then produces non-scientific crap like this ought to hand in the badge and ride off into the sunset.” Unfortunately the gravy train is too big and overrules any integrity. I know that if in my day job I had produced crap like this, I would have been given my P45 and would have become unemployable.

  13. December 8, 2018 3:47 am

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  14. December 8, 2018 8:30 am

    climate models that can simulate the world with or without the impact of fossil fuel emissions

    Give us a break.

  15. RAH permalink
    December 8, 2018 8:44 am

    I really never thought I would see Brits complaining about their island getting some nice summer warmth.

  16. December 8, 2018 9:13 am

    Normal Brits haven’t been complaining about the nice summer warmth. In fact 99+% reveled in the best summer for 42 years.

    • Curious George permalink
      December 8, 2018 4:30 pm

      Put yellow vests on and protest in streets of London against warm summers.

  17. Phoenix44 permalink
    December 8, 2018 9:22 am

    Just utter nonsense. Assume there is no climate change and there is no increase. As for “every eight years” then why has it taken forty years to match 1976? Or is it somehow every eight years from now – which it can’t be because that would make this year only the first event and thus of no significance statistically.

    I also love the “England” part. That suggests that the geography matters. Given how small England is, and hiw tiny changes can move our weather north and south, I suspect some geographical sleight of hand in this.

  18. paul weldon permalink
    December 8, 2018 10:33 am

    Further to Paul’s earlier posting on CET and Midland data I decided to go deeper and made a full analysis. I found that whereas during the 20th century there was a permanent difference of 0.5C between Midland and CET temperatures, but this has disappeared during the 21st century and the anomaly has completely disappeared. The result is that the UK temperatures appear to be inflated either due to UHI or from changed stations. Before passing the information to Paul, I decided to see what the MO had to say. With this attitude by their chief scientist, it is no wonder that I am having problems getting more information from them, and they are avoiding explaining why their data do not conform to logic.

  19. December 8, 2018 10:52 am

    Back in July, during this summer’s “Hothouse Earth” flap, on BBC News Bjørn Lomborg made the point that deaths during heatwaves could be more than offset by fewer deaths during intense cold spells.

    As expected, he was completely ignored by the other studio guests (including Corinne Le Quéré).

    Crickets… tumbleweed… etc.

  20. Jules permalink
    December 8, 2018 10:58 am

    I thought we were all going to freeze because climate change had altered the Gulf stream?

    With respect to warm summers, do you have more deaths in a warm summer or cold winter?

    • mikewaite permalink
      December 8, 2018 1:54 pm

      A good question Jules and recently (2017) a consortium of researchers published a study of cold v heat caused excess mortality for many different global regions and under conditions of mild (RCP2.6), medium (RCP4.5) and extreme (RCP8.5) global warming.

      https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanplh/article/PIIS2542-5196(17)30156-0/fulltext
      (it is open access)

      You will be pleased to know that the prediction for Northern Europe is that even under the most extreme warming scenario (which no one believes in any more anyway) the reduction in cold excess mortality is greater than the increase in heat related deaths . In fact the plots show that at present heat deaths hardly show up on the graph which shows cold excess deaths at about 8, 000 in a “normal” year, let alone some of the more recent cold winters.
      If the global warming trend continues to track RCP2.6 more closely than the other scenarios, the projected increase in heat related excess mortality is barely changed , but there is some benefit from milder winters.
      I may be a bit catty here but does Prof Stott still feel obliged to read the literature?

  21. Vanessa permalink
    December 8, 2018 2:37 pm

    It is so nice to know that it is SO hot in the BBC – I hope it fries all its employees to death !

  22. dennisambler permalink
    December 8, 2018 2:54 pm

    “Stott wrongly conflates (deliberately?) “average summer temperatures” with “heatwaves”.

    It’s his job. With a title like this he isn’t going to say it’s all a load of rubbish.
    https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/people/peter-stott

    Peter leads the Climate Monitoring and Attribution team. He is an expert in the attribution of climate change to anthropogenic and natural causes. [but not so much the natural]

    Some lovely word salad follows, as they describe his job.

  23. December 8, 2018 4:12 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    A static block of high pressure that had halterneck before in a cooling world…of course its climate change and its got nothing to do with mankind (although the UHI is of course). #FakeNews

  24. Jack Broughton permalink
    December 8, 2018 7:01 pm

    COP 24 made it 99% more likely that the Met office would produce some fake weather-news and 100% certain that the BBC would trumpet it!

  25. JCalvertN permalink
    December 8, 2018 9:29 pm

    Good ol’ “Cooling The Past”

  26. Colin permalink
    December 9, 2018 2:07 am

    Every seven years! Count from 1976. Keep adding 7, you come to 2018!
    Sunspots! That’s what “they” said in 1976. They happen every 7 years.

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