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More extreme weather events with planetary warming–Met Office

July 10, 2020

By Paul Homewood


More misinformation from the Met Office:



As the planet warms, the intensity, frequency and duration of extreme weather events such as heatwaves and heavy rainfall is expected to increase.

Corresponding decreases in cool weather events along with changes to dry spells are also expected.

Understanding and quantifying this change is the focus of an updated dataset examining weather data from more than 36,000 weather stations between 1901 and 2018. An international team of scientists from 39 different institutions – led by the Met Office – has gathered data to compile a dataset known as HadEX3 containing 29 indices of weather extremes (17 relating to temperature and 12 relating to precipitation). The development and initial analysis of HadEX3 have today been published in a paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres.

Dr Robert Dunn of the Met Office is the lead author. Commenting on the update, he said: “Looking at the changing climate by studying the frequency of extreme weather events provides a different perspective on climate change, complementing other metrics such as annual average temperature rise.

“It is extreme weather events which make the impacts of climate change real for people, and these events also present the greatest shocks to human health and well-being, financial economies and of course, the biosphere.”

One of the clearest indices tracks the upward trend in daily maximum temperature, showing a clear increase in the number of warm days globally, when compared with the number of warm days between 1961-1990. As the map above shows, the greatest increase is observed in tropical regions of South America, Northern Africa and through Asia. Similarly, the number of warm nights in these regions have increased by over eight days per decade, leading to a doubling since the late 1970s.

The variability of rainfall over space and time tends to be greater than temperature, so the trend is perhaps less clear, although there is a trend of an increasing contribution to total annual rainfall from very wet days, with an extra two per cent of precipitation falling compared to 1961-90.

The map above compares differences between two periods:1951-1980 and 1981-2010. Some areas such as the equatorial region of eastern South America and north of the Bay of Bengal seeing more rain failing in heavy events, but other areas such as eastern Australia have seen a corresponding decrease.


Just look at that opening claim again:



For a start, there is no evidence in the study quoted to justify such a claim. All the study does is to analyse changes between two periods, 1961-90 and 1981-2010. Just because it has become wetter in some areas. for instance, does not mean that trend will continue. Indeed, many of these changes are connected to multidecadal ocean cycles, so it is likely they could actually reverse.

More importantly though, there are two sides to every coin. Summer days may be slightly hotter in a warmer climate, but as the article also points out:

Corresponding decreases in cool weather events along with changes to dry spells are also expected.

In other words, “extreme weather events are not increasing”. There may be more heatwaves, but equally there will be fewer extreme cold spells.

The same applies to rainfall. Some areas may be wetter, but that also means that there is less drought.

The map shows this well, with notably heavier rain across the US and Sahel. Far from being “extreme weather”, this has actually relieved severe drought in both regions. India as well is another country which suffered long and severe droughts in the 1960s and 70s.

The Met Office, of course, have been trying to sell the extreme weather scare for years now. Shoddy misinterpretation of what the data actually says is sadly par for the course.

  1. jack broughton permalink
    July 10, 2020 11:46 am

    This is an extension of Donald Rumsfelds famous “Known-knowns etc”. When the media i.e. Met office etc.) or politicians say “We are following the science”, “the science says” or of course “Proven science”, they mean “We know the known-unknowns so do not try to argue with us”. Knowing the Known-unknowns is the privilege of selected groups of like-minded experts, who are naturally above questioning.

    Quis custodiet custodiens then Boris?

    • dave permalink
      July 10, 2020 12:10 pm

      Well, it all helps to keep the sheeple from noticing the true source of the shit in their lives.

      For instance, who has noticed that in April the official NHS danger-threshold for low blood saturation of oxygen – when to initiate supplemental oxygen for pneumonia patients – was LOWERED from 94% to 91%? Not for clinical reasons, of course – it is crazy wrong – but simply because they did not have enough of it.

  2. Phillip Bratby permalink
    July 10, 2020 11:59 am

    “Expected”. That one word says it all. It is not science. Making predictions is difficult, especially about the future.

    Yet again the Met office shows that it is not scientific is not fit for purpose and should be disbanded. It is a propaganda organisation.

    • July 11, 2020 10:31 am

      They’ve been claiming for decades that humans are warming the planet, so what’s this about ‘expected’? It should have arrived already.

  3. Tony Budd permalink
    July 10, 2020 12:05 pm

    Dear Paul, I think the Met Office should be made to look even further back. This is what a climatologist was saying over 400 years ago: William Shakespeare, January 1605 – A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act II,Scene II, Titania:

    Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain,As in revenge, have suck’d up from the seaContagious fogs; which, falling on the land,Have every pelting river made so proudThat they have overborne their continents:The ox hath therefore stretch’d his yoke in vain,The ploughman lost his sweat; and the green cornHath rotted ere his youth attained a beard:The fold stands empty in the drowned field,And the crows are fatted with the murrain flock;The nine men’s morris is fill’d up with mud;And the quaint mazes in the wanton green,For lack of tread, are undistinguishable:The human mortals want their winter here;No night is now with hymn or carol blest:-Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,Pale in her anger, washes all the air,That rheumatic diseases do abound:And through this distemperature we seeThe seasons alter: hoary-headed frostsFall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose;And on old Hyem’s chin and icy crownAn odorous chaplet sweet with summer budsIs, as in mockery, set: the spring, the summer,The childing autumn, angry winter, changeTheir wonted liveries; and the mag’d world,By their increase, now knows not which is which:And this same progeny of evils comesFrom our debate, from our dissension:We are their parents and original. – so extreme weather events have all been down to us for at least four centuries! Yours, Tony Budd

    • dave permalink
      July 10, 2020 12:33 pm

      “…down to us [sic]…”

      Not humans. It was the fault of the fairies. The tiff between Oberon and Titania was shaking the world.

      I vaguely remember (O Level Literature, 1959 – set books, Pride and Prejudice (girly) and Mid-Summer Night’s Dream (silly). I never got to the end of either one, but still passed the exam, by using vague, generic answers) there was a particular year in England (1597/8?) which had awful weather and this actually helps to date the composition of the play.

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        July 10, 2020 1:27 pm

        Ahh, you should have stuck with it, Dave – P&P, that is. Austen’s use of English is just so beautiful to read and listen to. I’ve read it twice and watched the BBC’s 1995 P&P more than a dozen times (perhaps the one good thing that the BBC has ever done – and I know there are a few more)

      • dave permalink
        July 10, 2020 8:56 pm

        For some reason, the women in my family go ‘Ooh!’ and ‘Aah!’ when Colin Firth swims in the horse-pond. And I am sure that wasn’t in the book at all!

    • David Parker permalink
      July 10, 2020 12:53 pm

      something else from the 17th. century.

      Parliament and climate change

      It was always like this, history repeats itself almost perfectly, the UK Parliament passed the first climate change act in 1662, Charles the second was on the throne. Perhaps we should ask the Bishop of St David’s to once again lead us in prayer.

      Samuel Pepys 21st jan 1661

      It is strange what weather we have had all this winter; no cold at all; but the ways are dusty, and the flyes fly up and down, and the rose-bushes are full of leaves, such a time of the year as was never known in this world before here.

      House Of Lords 11th jan 1662

      The Fast to be observed in Westm. Abbey, and the Bp. of St. David’s to preach.
      ¶Whereas His Majesty hath been pleased, by Proclamation, upon the Unseasonableness of the Weather, to command a general and public Fast, to be religiously and solemnly kept, within the Cities of London and Westm. and Places adjacent: It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, in Parliament assembled.

      Samuel Pepys 15 jan 1662

      fast day ordered by the Parliament, to pray for more seasonable weather; it having hitherto been summer weather, that it is, both as to warmth and every other thing, just as if it were the middle of May or June, which do threaten a plague (as all men think) to follow, for so it was almost the last winter; and the whole year after hath been a very sickly time to this day

      Unfortunately, the majority of our political class don’t do ‘history’, political, geological or literary. If they had, they would know that the world is not suffering a current climate emergency. In fact, climatically, we have lived through rather benign times over the past 10,000 years that has enabled mankind to flourish. The only tipping point on the horizon is not a negligible spike in human induced global warming but the major population centres of the planet being crushed under a mile of ice when the next glaciation kicks in, as it surely will. Certainly we can all do more to tackle the very real issues of pollution, environmental degradation and habitat loss but warm and fluffy politicos virtual signalling the advanced economies into abject poverty in a futile attempt to change the weather is, simply, madness.

  4. Harry Passfield permalink
    July 10, 2020 12:20 pm

    There’s a ‘chicken and egg’ thing going on here: I thought weather – be it ‘events’ or no – was what made up our climate, not the other way round.

    I am also indebted to someone who commented, on here, I believe, who said that every time he sees ‘May’ or ‘Could’ he merely adds ‘not’ to it to get the balance of the claim. So, extreme weather events may NOT be caused by climate change.

  5. July 10, 2020 12:24 pm

    If it is so shoddy, why does their paymaster keep funding them?

  6. Thomas Carr permalink
    July 10, 2020 12:24 pm

    Welcome bit of entertainment from Tony and Jack above.
    Be alert for an attempt to suggest that Tsunamis are partly caused by global warming. It goes like this:
    The earth’s crust is not cooling as fast as it used because of global warming and therefor the surface movement or skin outside the magma has affected the way the techtonic (? Sp) plates impinge on each other leading to additional marine earthquakes. Quite straight forward — of course not but .ollocks all the same.

  7. Mike Jackson permalink
    July 10, 2020 12:49 pm

    What am I missing? I was always led to believe, until this unreasoning panic started, that a warmer climate was going to mean a calmer world because the poles would warm more than the tropics and as a result the temperature gradient would decline with fewer storms as a result.

    Were we being lied to then or are we being lied to now or have there been some changes in the natural law that have only recently been discovered?

    I think we can only hope that Shellenberger has started a trend away from Malthusian Misery and the outright mendacity of the IPCC pseudo-scientific groupies who appear to have just about every aspect of climatology upside-down and back-to-front!

    And the continual plugging away by this blog and others to expose the half-truths (always so much worse than outright lies) which have become the stock-in-trade of the BBC and recently, it appears, the Met Office.

  8. Broadlands permalink
    July 10, 2020 1:53 pm

    “The map above compares differences between two periods:1951-1980 and 1981-2010.”

    According to NASA/GISS the global mean temperature from 1951-1980 was 15°C (59°F).

    WMO: “The globally averaged temperature in 2017 was about 0.46°C above the 1981-2010 long-term average (14.3°C). This 30-year baseline is used by national meteorological and hydrological services…”

    Conclusion: the 1951-1980 value of 15°C is warmer than the 1981-2010 value of 14.3°C and warmer than 2017’s value of 14.76°C. The map differences are backwards?

  9. David Virgo permalink
    July 10, 2020 2:45 pm

    It seems tome there is problem with the definition of extreme weather. If we imagine a point where the past “normal” temperature was 0 to 20 degrees with a mean of 10 there will be some “Extreme” days below 0 and some above 20. If the mean temperature then shifts to 11 degrees it can be no surprise if there are fewer days below 0 and more days above 20. But to then claim both changes as increases in the extremes strikes me as some form of insanity. Certainly it isn’t what the man on the Clapham omnibus would think of as extreme.

  10. MrGrimNasty permalink
    July 10, 2020 3:58 pm

    Have you noticed how the ‘expected’ heatwave we have just had in ‘the rapidly warming’ N.Siberia is in a lesser warmed area!

  11. MrGrimNasty permalink
    July 10, 2020 4:15 pm

    Another alarm bell.

    Notice how generally the most warmed places, apart from Europe (which is probably grossly affected by UHI), have very few data points.

    Central America.
    North of S.America.
    North of Africa.
    North of Australia.
    South of India.

    • Broadlands permalink
      July 10, 2020 8:23 pm

      Back in 2009 Dr. Phil Jones, East Anglia wrote in an e-mail…

      “ The 1999 paper is only the second attempt to calculate the number directly from observations. It is within about 0.5 deg C from the only other study in the 1969/70 period – by Crutcher and Meserve and Taljaard. The reason for the differences (and why the accuracy is only expected to be within +/- 0.5 deg C) is because of areas without data in the base period – see the maps in the paper. These areas include large areas of the Southern Oceans, parts of the Antarctic, the central Arctic, central Greenland etc. To get values for these areas you have to make estimates and these introduce errors. Lapse rate estimates have to be used for mountainous regions such as Tibet and Greenland. So the bottom line is that 14 C number for the globe is probably only accurate to +/- 0.5.”

    • Pancho Plail permalink
      July 11, 2020 8:40 am

      Interesting also that the vast mass of the US, where there are plenty of high quality readings, shows overall little change that would seem, visually, to average out at about zero.

  12. Gamecock permalink
    July 10, 2020 5:01 pm

    Meteorologists tell you the wrong forecast for a date.

    Climate scientists tell you the forecast without a date.

    • July 10, 2020 6:29 pm

      No, they always get the weather forecast right. But not always on the right day!

      • Gerry, England permalink
        July 12, 2020 1:50 pm

        I can still recall the text feed on the BBC from a test match delayed by rain. As they waited for news of a start time the comment on receiving a forecast ‘that’s completely different to one I received just over an hour ago.’

        I’ve noticed that wunderground’s hourly forecast changes during the day, especially when it starts raining when they didn’t forecast it.

  13. July 10, 2020 6:21 pm

    Our daily weather forecasts are just occasionally quite near to what does actually occur, but they’re just as often all to hell and gone WRONG! Just how many £billions have they blown on computers? ANY half tidy sailor could do as well with no more than a glance using his weather-eye. Truth is: We cannot rely on met office forecast, without a large pinch of salt!

  14. Mike Jenkins permalink
    July 10, 2020 7:19 pm

    I agree with those more scientifically knowledgeable than I am. The Met Office has become a Ministry of Propaganda, an Orwellian Ministry of Truth.
    Dave’s reminiscences of 1959 reminded me that it was a very hot summer that year and, having just passed my 11 plus, I had ample opportunity to show off my new grammar school blazer. I didn’t need to cover up with my school mac until it eventually rained in October. That was quite something in the Welsh Valleys.
    I also remember that a drought was declared. In South Wales! I recall my father driving us through the Brecon Beacons where, as you passed the Llwyn-on Reservoir, the water was so low you could see exposed the remains of the drowned village and a little hump-backed bridge that went nowhere.
    Of course I also remember the long freeze of 1963 and my parents’ horror stories of the 1947 winter. I know I’m just a grumpy old man but why are some people so hung up about a bit of weather?
    Sorry if I’ve bored you.

    • dave permalink
      July 11, 2020 10:44 am

      One thing I remember clearly is that the houses in the road we lived in were all built in the 1930s, and had the plumbing on the outside walls. My father told me that in the 1930s the winters were consistently so mild that builders assumed it was a permanent change of climate, and they could get away with this construction. Then the climate changed back, and the plumbing regularly froze up.

      Everybody young is so ignorant about the second half of the 1930s, which was a really good time for ordinary people in Europe. Warm weather, smaller families, increasing real wages, and quietly progressive. The quiet before the storm, of course.

      • David Ashton permalink
        July 11, 2020 2:07 pm

        I was born in1947 and as I was growing up during the fifties my father never stopped complaining about the weather and telling me how good it was in the thirties, when he was young man. He blamed the ‘atom bomb’.

  15. July 11, 2020 6:35 am

    This is the first statement in the “Who we are” section of the website.”The Met Office is the national meteorological service for the UK. We provide critical weather services and world-leading climate science, helping you make better decisions to stay safe and thrive. ”

    No that is a statement of what you do not who you are! So as a statement of what they do that is reasonable and accurate with the focus specifically on the UK. What I do not expect is them to use resources paid for by the British tax payer to pontificate and virtue signal about other speculative weather related issues globally.

    This is what wiki says about their grandiosely titled Chief Executive ( Chief Executive means there are other “executives”) Penelope (Penny) Endersby CEng CPhys FInstP FCMI is a British researcher and academic specialising in armour and explosives. She was appointed chief executive of the Met Office in December 2018. Prior to that, she led cyber and information systems at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.

    Forgive me if I am confused but armour and explosives?? What in her background allows her to pontificate about weather? It does however permit her to virtue signal about climate nonsense and keep the money rolling in which is exactly what she is doing. Also ALL of the letters after her name are for memberships of organizations which do require an education but are all paid for and not earned like I can write FGS ( Fellow of the Geological Society) after my name but do not!

    Also for a supposedly scientific based organization the language in the puff piece telling us how wonderful they are is shot through with embarrassing self promotion and emotion, two things which have no place in an statement by an organization tasked with performing sober and exacting science. The word “change” is inserted a little to often as is reference to climate change, a 4.5 BILLION year old process as if it just started yesterday. It reads she sees the Met Office as one more tax payer funded money-go-round jostling for position in the climate circus and NOT predicting UK weather which if their track record is to be considered leaves a lot to be desired.

    • Pancho Plail permalink
      July 11, 2020 8:57 am

      “We provide ………… world-leading climate science”. So there you have it, science is a commodity to them.
      And picking on the same sentence “We provide critical weather services ” – critical, as in having the potential to become disastrous? The weather service that so many people use on a daily basis often fails to get it right even hours ahead.
      People forget about the numerous occasions when they have cried wolf and a pussy cat has strolled in but don’t forget the crucial failures like the famous “not a hurricane” warning of decades back, so the incentive for them is to cry wolf constantly and then preen themselves when they occasionally get it right.

    • dennisambler permalink
      July 11, 2020 12:51 pm

      “specialising in armour and explosives.” regressing back to its previous MOD hosting?

      I suppose she won’t be scared by thunder…

      1.1 The Met Office is an Executive Agency owned by the Ministry of Defence and has operated as a Trading Fund since April 1996. Its purpose is to be an effective, modern and efficient national meteorological service (NMS) for the UK. It aims to provide its customers, now and in the future, with the range of services they require, in a timely and effective manner, and at a price they can afford. Our vision is: through unrivalled know-how, to enable individuals, society and enterprises everywhere to make the most of the weather and the natural environment.

      Still involved:

      It is now part of government, hence why it has become increasingly more political:
      The Met Office is a Trading Fund of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

      They have exploratory sea level projections for the next 300 years:

      “The main problem in creating climate change projections beyond 2100 is the availability of model simulations this far into the future. To overcome this, a simpler climate model was used to extend the complex model simulations used in UKCP18, ensuring consistency
      between the 2 sets of sea level projections

      The flood risk posed by extreme sea levels increases as a direct result of the increasing coastal water levels. Rates of increase therefore vary with time and location. However by 2300 and at all locations studied, the highest of the UKCP18 climate scenarios will result in
      sea levels every year that have a current probability of only 0.01% of occurring.”

      That’s RCP 8.5 upon which the Climate Emergency is based…

      • July 11, 2020 4:01 pm

        Dennis if you have come across any reference on the Met office site to what relative sea level means and including words showing that the important difference between Eustacy and Isostasy is understood together with positive and negative tectonics because I think our dear Penny the explosives expert is quoted as saying that sea level is rising all around the UK which given her position should be a sackable offence as there is hard empirical data which has been around for quite demonstrating because of isostatic readjustment the N of Scotland is tilting up (+) and the South of England tilting down (-) and that is nothing to do with relative sea level rise or fall, I would appreciate any of the same references among the work of the IPCCs and also NASA who both dabble in Sea Level prediction. I have scanned and for the life of me have found nothing which if true is a little concerning. Certainly the Climate Circus Propaganda arm in the UK…The B(BLM)BC and the Grauniad never reference them when pushing climate seal level porn.

  16. tom0mason permalink
    July 11, 2020 9:06 am

    My thoughts on weather predictions from ‘climate science’ —

    1. The problem as I see it is that these ‘climate scientist’ do not know (or want to know) about chaotic systems. When looking at climate you realize it is a chaotic system built of many interlinked chaotic sub-systems with lots of feedback paths.
    Statistical averaging of a few factors within such chaotic systems reveals what? IMO very little — it certainly can NOT tell you what the trend of the chaotic system (on a local or global scale) will be. It can never indicate the changes that might happen in local areas.

    2. Climate is NOT global!
    Climate is at best regional, and as such is very specifically dependent on LOCAL weather variables.
    The UK, like parts of Japan or China are prone to occasional heavy rain deluges and flooding, just as they also get shorter periods of drought. But ON AVERAGE (over a long enough timescale) everything appears to dither around a normal figure. What specifically are all the changes in the climate regime that cause these more extreme events to happen? Does ‘climate science’ understand how the water cycle works (from oceanic currents to cloud formation at EVERY level of the atmosphere, to precipitation, etc.) over the whole world and down to a local level, do they know all the feedback factors that disrupt it? — IMO NO!

    What does this tell us about the current state of ‘climate science’ and weather prediction? IMO it says we do not know very much, understand little, and have not measured to a fine enough detail enough factors that affect our weather/climate to be able to grasp the full totality of how the climate operates. IMO we are not even close to making a reasonable approximation.

    Taking my cue from history (things like ), it appears that as the world changes from warm to cold, or cold to warm periods then the weather/climate becomes very erratic and volatile, and that more stable periods of cold or warm are usually less changeability. So where are we now? Here’s an indication —

  17. July 12, 2020 9:22 am

    “As the planet warms, the intensity, frequency and duration of extreme weather events such as heatwaves and heavy rainfall is expected to increase”

    Yes sir. Thank you for this impressive forecast. Do let us know when it is validated with data being careful to avoid the confirmation bias trap of your failed “Event Attribution Science” because science it is not.

  18. dave permalink
    July 12, 2020 10:13 am

    As it stands, the Met statement is almost devoid of relevant meaning. After all, I suppose that if every part of the planet increased in temperature by 1000 C there WOULD be an increase in heatwaves! I guessed that for myself.

    But you always have to look for the “meta-message” with con-men. In this present case, the writer is expecting the reader to be, already, so indoctrinated that he will unconsciously create the meta-message for himself.

    The real statement being made is:

    “As the planet warms [everywhere] [by as little as 0.5 C], the intensity…is expected to increase [a lot] [now you must panic!].”

    Actually, the con-men HAVE made many, many sales in the decadent West. That is completely clear. We are, so to speak, now in the “cooling-off” period allowed by law to consumers who have temporarily given in to dubious sales practices. Naturally, the con-men will keep contacting us to stiffen our resolve to stick with the purchase.

    A surprising number of consumers, however, can be made to feel “buyer’s remorse,” during the cooling-off period. As slightly more sober-headed people, all we can do with the sheeple around us is to plant little seeds of doubt – if they will listen at all.

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