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Dunce’s Cap For Slingo!

February 2, 2021

By Paul Homewood


Slingo always was good for a laugh! Back in 2012, she made this claim:


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. But she stressed that it was one factor and not the "dominant driver" in the UK.

The south-east and other parts of England are experiencing especially dry conditions after months of below-average rainfall, with some water companies pledging on Monday to introduce hosepipe bans to conserve water.

Recent years have seen a spate of cold winters, with 2009-10 being recorded as the coldest in 31 years. Recent studies have linked the gradual shrinking of Arctic sea ice to colder weather in the UK and the rest of Europe, as well as the US and China. However the Met Office has not spoken about the issue before. The hot, dry spring of 2011 has also been linked to melting sea ice by meteorologists.

Slingo told the MPs that there is "increasing evidence in the last few months of that depletion of ice, in particular in the Bering and Kara seas, can plausibly impact on our winter weather and lead to colder winters over northern Europe".

And how did that little theory work out, Julia?


  1. February 2, 2021 10:47 am

    From that Guardian article “Recent years have seen a spate of cold winters, with 2009-10 being recorded as the coldest in 31 years.” Hmm, I’m not aware there was a spate of cold winters leading up to the very cold 2009/10 one. Sounds like a liew just to buttress the point of the article.

  2. Peter Sewards permalink
    February 2, 2021 10:52 am

    I love the use of the word “plausibly”. My goodness, how do these people get air time?

    • February 2, 2021 11:58 am

      And how do they get jobs, funded by the taxpayer, with large rewards, inflation proofed pensions and a gong on top?!!

      • Gerry, England permalink
        February 2, 2021 2:27 pm

        Stupid people want to employ other stupid people?

      • A C Osborn permalink
        February 2, 2021 2:30 pm

        Replace stupid people with lying, crooked, brainwashed people.

    • Duker permalink
      February 3, 2021 2:42 am

      I love the use of the word “plausibly”….
      they get it from the way defence lawyers operate in court.
      Its a way of justifying their client telling big lies… its how things like ‘walked into my fist’ get said.

  3. Mad Mike permalink
    February 2, 2021 11:06 am

    From this it is clear nobody has a clear idea of precisely how weather works. People who are being paid to know are thrashing about with theory after theory. To forge political policies that have far reaching implications for the UK, and indeed the rest of the world, on the vagaries of the thinking of a few scientists that clearly are floundering is dangerous.

  4. cookers52 permalink
    February 2, 2021 11:20 am

    The drought flooding was particularly bad in 2012.

    Prediction is difficult, particularly of the future.

    • David V permalink
      February 2, 2021 12:35 pm

      Prediction isn’t hard – they do it all the time – getting it right is the tricky bit.

  5. John Palmer permalink
    February 2, 2021 11:24 am

    Yup…. as Prof. Bohr once said….“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future!”
    And as a gesture of appreciation for acuity, she was made a Dame in 2014.
    In that elite section of our society, incompetence seems always to be properly rewarded!

  6. Gamecock permalink
    February 2, 2021 11:43 am

    ‘Slingo told the MPs that there is “increasing evidence in the last few months of that depletion of ice’

    You have evidence or you don’t. “Increasing evidence” means you don’t.

    ‘in particular in the Bering and Kara seas, can plausibly impact on our winter weather and lead to colder winters over northern Europe’

    ‘Plausibly’ means “a real maybe.”

    • Curious George permalink
      February 2, 2021 3:25 pm

      There is increasing evidence in the last few hours that Greta was too optimistic. We don’t have years, we only have days. The morning temperature of 3C increased to 10C within hours.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        February 3, 2021 9:46 am

        That’s nothing in London the max on Sunday was 4 degrees, yesterday it was 12! Three times as hot! If that happens in June it will be 210 degrees! Or something.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      February 3, 2021 9:56 am

      It’s fine to have increasing evidence. Over the last century there has been increasing evidence Einstein was right about relativity. More and better experiments increase the evidence.

  7. Cheshire Red permalink
    February 2, 2021 12:28 pm

    She made these claims to MP’s on a select committee. At what point is a recall due in order to revisit her obviously false predictions, estimates or whatever they are?

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      February 2, 2021 2:19 pm

      Seconded! I do hope the MPs on the Climate Audit Committee are made fully aware of just how bad her ‘prediction’ was. I hope it will make them a little bit more sceptic of these scientivists in the future.

  8. MrGrimNasty permalink
    February 2, 2021 1:10 pm

    Can we parachute Slingo in to experience the warming?

  9. Jim Ross permalink
    February 2, 2021 1:39 pm


    On the Beeb today “Meteorologists said January this year was the coldest [UK] since 2010, with an average temperature of 2.2C” followed by “A winter month as cold or colder than January 2021 used to occur in approximately seven out of 10 winters through the 20th Century” said Dr Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre (NCIC).

    Notice the Met Office trick? Switch from a specific month (January) to any winter month and you just tripled the odds. Eyeballing their graph for January alone, it looks like about 2 out 10 as cold or colder than January 2021 through the 20th century.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      February 2, 2021 2:35 pm

      And to think we are told it is ever upwards to an over-heated future….shame about all the record breaking tons of snow countries have experienced so far since as early as September.

      As to our winters getting drier!!! My garden is absolutely saturated with all the regular rainfall. Worse than last year – just.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      February 3, 2021 9:49 am

      Worse, it’s entirely unclear what periods he is comparing – the average over 100 years versus the average over 20 years? Utterly fraudulent. I suspect the 20th century record was highly variable and so using an average is completely misleading. And he knows that.

  10. Joe Public permalink
    February 2, 2021 1:59 pm

    To be fair to the pantomime dame, the Met Office has realised the error of its ways, and is spending another £1.2billion for a new weather and climate supercomputer.

    This means more of its erroneous forecasts can be produced much more rapidly.

    • Joe Public permalink
      February 2, 2021 2:01 pm

      ” …. spending another £1.2billion OF TAXPAYERS’ MONEY ….”

      • 1saveenergy permalink
        February 3, 2021 12:56 am

        from 2015 – “Weather forecast blunders will become a thing of the past when a new £97 million “supercomputer” is up and running next year, the Met Office has said.” The supercomputer, which will be based at the Met Office and Exeter Science Park, will be operational in September next year and the system will reach full capacity in 2017.”


        £97 million for 4 yrs worth of forecast blunders, & now they want another £1.2billion so they can make more GIGO forecast blunders faster !!!

      • Duker permalink
        February 3, 2021 2:51 am

        My poor country gets 2-3 day ‘forecasts’ from the Met Office super computers. Smart people have pointed the clear contradictions in what the computer forecast says for a particular day and region and what local meteorologists say for that day based on local knowledge- the results are are plain to see on the ‘same page’
        Sometimes this is just a 24hr forecast… its too ludicrous for words that they even bother with the computer at all when an experienced forecaster can do much better. The computer forecast gets more inaccurate as the days becomes a week or more

      • 1saveenergy permalink
        February 3, 2021 8:02 am

        They may be crap for an 8 day forecast but are super accurate for an 80 year one … just ask Dodger Horrorpain !!!

    • Gamecock permalink
      February 2, 2021 6:06 pm

      A shame they don’t spend money on decent software. Hardware is not their limitation.

  11. Phoenix44 permalink
    February 3, 2021 9:54 am

    Take current weather, manufacture a reason why its caused by climate change, repeat. One year declining ice will cause drought because we have drought, the next year floods because we have floods. A long dry cold winter and the Gulf Stream is slowing, a mild wet winter is caused by the Gulf Stream slowing too. So we move to extremes and any “extreme” can be caused by Climate Change and any weather can be extreme.

    Those involved know they have become frauds in terms of their arguments and data but remain utterly convinced their hypothesis is right anyway.

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