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Britain, climate change and the reality of extreme weather events-Ross Clark

July 29, 2021
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood



‘Extreme weather will be the norm,’ says the Guardian. Britain is gaining a more ‘violent’ climate according to Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency. ‘The UK is already undergoing disruptive climate change with increased rainfall, sunshine and temperatures, according to scientists,’ wites the BBC’s ‘environmental analyst’ Roger Harrabin.

But how many people making these sorts of claims have actually read the Met Office’s report – the ‘State of the UK Climate 2020’ – as opposed to merely reading the press release? Not for the first time, the real data presents a very different world from the one depicted in the increasingly hysterical reporting on climate change.

Firstly, temperatures. There is a clear upward trend in temperature over the UK in the past 60 years (following a slight decline in the two decades prior to that). We can argue about heat islands – and I certainly wouldn’t trust temperature records set at Heathrow, with its concrete aprons and jets spewing out hot gases. But the overall data points unmistakably to rising temperatures. There has been a corresponding downward trend in the frequency of frosts, as might be expected. However, the data also shows that in the UK at least the predominant period of warming was the 1980s and 1990s, with a distinct levelling-off over the past decade. Claims that warming is ‘accelerating’ are not justified by data, at least not in Britain.

Now for rainfall. Much reporting this morning focuses on 2020 being the fifth wettest year since 1862, averaged over Britain. Certainly it was a wet year, but what matters more is the long-term trends. Averaged across Britain, the Met Office report notes, the decade 2011-20 was 9 per cent wetter than the period 1961-90. But there are two things to note about this. Firstly, the biggest increase in rainfall in 2011-20 compared with the 1960-1990 reference period was during the winter and summer months, with the spring becoming drier and autumn pretty unchanged.

The wetter summers are in direct contradiction to climate models. The Climate Projections published by Defra in 2009, for example, predicted that UK summers would be between 17 per cent and 23 per cent drier by the 2080s. Indeed, as recently as the dry summer of 2018 the more general worry was about the UK suffering summer droughts. It is odd to read, then, that today’s report supposedly confirms predictions that have been made by climate scientists for decades.

Secondly, the UK-wide rainfall figure hides a wide differential in rainfall trends across the country, with greater increases in the north and west, especially in the Scottish Highlands and much less marked changes in the more populous south and east.

Full story here.

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What is interesting is that Ross Clark has homed in on my two key points:

1) There has been no rise in temperatures in the last decade.

2) The increase in rainfall is largely confined to Scotland, with little long term changes in the south and east.

  1. July 29, 2021 5:19 pm

    Can I highly recommend ‘The Denial’ by Ross Clark?

    It is a deceptively slim book, much as 1984 and Animal Farm are, but in my opinion it offers a similar satirical and disturbing perspective on the madness surrounding us, but related to climate change.

  2. alexei permalink
    July 29, 2021 5:31 pm

    The DT is also at it again with an article headed “Temperatures of 40ºC will become the norm for British summers, leading meteorologists warn” – “wetter, hotter, sunnier, the data shows the UK’s weather is becoming more extreme” but readers do not appear to be persuaded!

    The DT has been running a series of these scare-mongering articles, despite challenges from sceptical readers scoring highest ticks and despite regular urging and threats to unsubscribe to get a decent Environment/Science journalist who knows something about the subject. In vain. Like the BBC, Grauniad et al, they have a purpose and it is not to disseminate the truth.

  3. Harry Passfield permalink
    July 29, 2021 5:35 pm

    Just had to switch off the ravings of David King on PM. The man certainly has chutzpah! Still banging on about Arctic/Greenland ice melts causing in excess of 7 meter rise in sea level!

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      July 29, 2021 5:55 pm

      Furthermore, I see King has elected himself to the CCAdvisoryGroup! So what he says – he thinks – has the power of gospel. I just hope people will remember how faulty the SAGE models were over Covid and wonder if climate models are any better.

      • Thomas Carr permalink
        July 29, 2021 9:53 pm

        Channel Four news have also waded in up to their necks.Their news channel this evening echoed much of what we have been told by the BBC today but with a higher fear quotient.

    • July 29, 2021 5:58 pm

      DK was in full climate doom mode there. His waffle about the Sun heating up melted Arctic water made me laugh, though.

      NASA says: ‘In the arctic summer, even though the sun shines 24 hours a day, it produces only moderate warmth, because it skims around the horizon and its light arrives at a low angle.’

      Who knew? Maybe that’s why the ice was there in the first place 🙄

  4. Curious George permalink
    July 29, 2021 5:54 pm

    Lying, once started, is difficult to stop.

    • John Hultquist permalink
      July 29, 2021 5:58 pm

      “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” ~ Mark Twain

      • T Walker permalink
        July 29, 2021 6:13 pm

        Thank you John – Samuel Langhorne Clemens, one of my all time favourite (sorry favorite) Americans.

  5. T Walker permalink
    July 29, 2021 6:22 pm

    The Flip Flop of predictions over the last 15 years have been embarrassing – or they would be if those in the Met Office responsible for the guff had any self-respect.

    I always keep this article from 2012 bookmarked, by Charlie Flindt (a farmer trying to use the advice) to hand – it always gives me a laugh.

    original article


    • Tim Page permalink
      July 30, 2021 9:05 am

      Thank you T Walker….an enjoyable guffaw at breakfast !

  6. Harry Passfield permalink
    July 29, 2021 7:06 pm

    GB News NOW!! Farage v Bob Ward….

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      July 29, 2021 7:12 pm

      Oh Dear…NF is no Tucker Carlson… Bob Ward even claimed he was a geologist (failed PhD)

      • ThinkingScientist permalink
        July 30, 2021 1:59 pm

        Bob Ward is a Geologist by training, but does not hold a PhD. You can still be a Geologist without a PhD (as I am a Geophysicist without a PhD).

        He likes to claim he has an unsubmitted thesis for a PhD, which is pretty egotistical and high on chutzpah – no reason to suppose he would be granted a PhD just because he has written a thesis. I could claim I’ve got several of those myself too. Unlike Ward I don’t go around implying that I’ve almost got a PhD on the basis of an unsubmitted thesis.

        Almost as funny as Dr Caroline Lucas, Climate Expert. (PhD in Eng. Lit).

    • StephenP permalink
      July 30, 2021 7:41 am

      Last night Nigel Farage interviewed Paul Driessen on GB News, rather late in the evening, but Paul was allowed to make his case without censorship.
      Comments that hit the nail on the head were that ten times as many people died from cold conditions than hot, and that on average we are paying £400/year per household to subsidise renewables and that this is likely to treble in the next few years.
      NF finished by saying that GB News would be interviewing someone from the other side, so I await this with interest.

  7. July 29, 2021 7:23 pm

    It is evident that Ross Clark visits this website to get proper information. The comments on Spectator articles are always worth reading.

  8. Old Grumpy permalink
    July 29, 2021 7:25 pm

    Paul should listen to today’s PM where Prof Sir David King can be heard (at 12 mins on) pontificating on climate change including the claim that “We are already sitting at 500 ppm today – the pre-industrial level was 280”

    • July 29, 2021 7:46 pm

      He has no shame in lying to the public.

      • Tonyb permalink
        July 29, 2021 8:47 pm

        Its not lying, I don’t think he actually knows.having said that my co2 meter regularly reads 550 ppm plus. It has never got to the supposed 417ppm

      • Jim Ross permalink
        July 30, 2021 10:59 am

        Actual observations at Weybourne observatory (northern Norfolk coast) … yesterday 17:00 low point for the day 404 ppm, overnight peak @ 04:00 434 ppm, latest value @ 08:00 today 408 ppm. Nothing unusual with this diurnal variation. Note times appear to be UTC; if so, add one hour for BST. Data available at

    • Stuart Brown permalink
      July 29, 2021 8:49 pm

      Indeed. 414.14ppm yesterday at Mauna Loa and falling rapidly as it does at this time of year. Got to love the 2 decimal places of accuracy though.

      • Thomas Carr permalink
        July 29, 2021 9:50 pm

        Should we be alert to the non industrial environment on Mauna Loa and would this affect the ppms?

      • StephenP permalink
        July 30, 2021 9:52 am

        Why did they put the CO2 monitoring station on a volcano?
        Maybe Easter Island would have been a better choice, a long way from large centres of human habitation and AFAIK no volcanic effects.

    • G Gould permalink
      July 30, 2021 11:16 am

      The report he was referring to can be seen here:

      Click to access CCAG+Extreme+Weather.pdf

      • Jim Ross permalink
        July 30, 2021 4:15 pm

        I do not see any reference to 500 ppm in this report. If he implied that the current atmospheric background level of CO2 is at 500 ppm then yes, he was clearly not correct. There are plenty of situations where CO2 levels above this can be found, but they are not reflective of background levels. The monitoring station at Mauna Loa was established in order to avoid local near surface influences, where there can be very large daily fluctuations. The fact that this was a good choice can be seen by viewing many other locations, including the South Pole.The consistency of background levels can be seen for observatories across the globe here:

  9. July 29, 2021 8:50 pm

    More sun, More moon!
    More morn, More noon
    More dawn, More dusk
    More sky, More earthly view
    More distance looking blue

    More warmth, More cheerfulness, More healthy ease,
    More comfortable feel in every member
    More shade, More shine, More butterflies, More bees,
    More fruits, More flowers, More leaves, More birds,
    More climate change!

    With apologies to Thomas Hood

  10. Graeme No.3 permalink
    July 29, 2021 9:54 pm

    Does the fact that Scotland is particularly wet indicate that all those turbines on the hills are causing Climate Change?
    Claiming that would make a few heads spin.

  11. Martin Brumby permalink
    July 30, 2021 7:16 am

    Interesting all the bad things that eventuate from a modest increase in a trace gas essential for life.

    Why don’t they point out the beneficial effects that burning a bit more fossil fuel in Asia has had on the UK’s Olympic medal score!

    There is every bit as much evidence for this happy causative effect as there is for the German floods.

  12. Ben Vorlich permalink
    July 30, 2021 7:32 am

    Interesting that Scotland has had an increase in rainfall. Looks like Norway might have as well, although not major

    • Colin permalink
      July 30, 2021 10:14 am

      We had our wettest month ever some years ago, didn’t actually cause any “disruption” . In fact the wettest parts of Scotland are the least populated and only a half wit would build on floodplain or next any kind of watercourse. The increasing rainfall in Scotland (and Norway) is likely due to more Atlantic driven weather which has always been our typical weather pattern anyway. So climate change is making our weather more of the same!

  13. Chaswarnertoo permalink
    July 30, 2021 8:17 am

    Utter, utter BS from the BBC.

  14. Phoenix44 permalink
    July 30, 2021 8:22 am

    If we have had warming leading to more moisture in the atmosphere, and we are now cooling, there will be more rain. That has to be true surely?

    So how can both warming and cooling lead to more rain?

    • Russ Wood permalink
      July 31, 2021 4:25 pm

      So how can both warming and cooling lead to more rain?
      Shuttup! He replied…

  15. Colin permalink
    July 30, 2021 10:15 am

    We had our wettest month ever some years ago, didn’t actually cause any “disruption” . In fact the wettest parts of Scotland are the least populated and only a half wit would build on floodplain or next any kind of watercourse. The increasing rainfall in Scotland (and Norway) is likely due to more Atlantic driven weather which has always been our typical weather pattern anyway. So climate change is making our weather more of the same!

  16. John Peter permalink
    July 30, 2021 10:18 am

    “Leading climate scientists conceded that models used to estimate how much the world will warm with rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are running too hot.” GWPF

    They can’t bury this problem any longer as illustrated by Dr Roy Spencer

    I wonder how Gavin Schmidt & Co will get round this and still claim an immediate Climate Emergency for COP26.

    • ThinkingScientist permalink
      July 30, 2021 2:03 pm

      Has Gavin Schmidt finally realised that to continue with the over-heated climate model charade is becoming completely unsupportable and decided to jump ship while he still can retain some shred of integrity?

  17. Ulric Lyons permalink
    July 31, 2021 11:40 pm

    UK summers have become on average wetter since 1995 because of weaker solar wind states increasing negative NAO conditions and driving a warmer AMO.

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