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BBC Blame Bologna Floods On Climate Change

May 19, 2023
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By Paul Homewood


The BBC is now even inserting climate propaganda into its weather forecasts:



It did not take the BBC long to link the tragic Bologna floods this week to climate change. They even included this video at the start of their weather forecast, just in case people missed it.

There are several references to extreme weather, extreme rainfall and extreme drought. The weatherman, Chris Fawkes goes on to say:

As our planet warms up, climate scientists tell us that extreme weather are likely to become more frequent, and I think that really does fit the bill for Italy for what we’ve seen”

Climate scientists say all sorts of things, much of it lies or baseless. What they say should not though be confused with evidence.

I have seen no official data for the rainfall yet, but 200mm appears credible. Bear in mind though this is over the mountains. Annual rainfall in Bologna is about 1000mm, so clearly the”half annual rainfall” claim is a fabrication.

It is a sad fact that Northern Italy is prone to these sort of disastrous floods. For instance, the 1966 Florence floods killed 101 people, when a third of a year’s average rainfall fell in two days:


Before that there were the River Po floods in 1957:


And in 1994, 77 lost their lives in the Piedmont flood. As in Florence, a third of a year’s rain fell in the space of three days.

Such weather events are due to meteorological conditions, not climate change, as even Chris Fawkes admits when he tells us that the storm was the result of the jet stream being far to the south of its usual position. Something incidentally which is more likely in a colder world. A recent study by Grazzini et al looked into the Piedmont floods, and concluded that it was the result of a meridionally elongated upperlevel trough embedded in an incoming Rossby wave packet, just as previous severe floods had been.

But leaving the causes of this flood to one side until all the facts are known, which the BBC should have done, does the historic data for Bologna back up the BBC’s claims about climate change making these things worse?

Let’s start with the KNMI data, which goes up to 2021. (I do, by the way, feel very frustrated at times that it is so difficult to access up to date weather data from official sources, including our wonderful Met Office; if climate change is so critical, surely the least they should do is provide the public with this sort of information).

Bologna has data all the way back to 1813, and the daily rainfall chart below quite clearly indicates that rainfall used to be much more extreme in the past:

time series

We get a similar picture from ECA&D, with data up to 2020:



Clearly Fawkes’ claim does not stand up to scrutiny.

Before we finish, it is worth looking at annual rainfall, bearing in mind Fawkes’ claims of the extreme drought last year. Remembering that the data only runs to 2020, the evidence clearly shows that droughts were much worse prior to 1950. And there have always been large swings in rainfall from year to year, making a nonsense of his claims.


  1. Harry Passfield permalink
    May 19, 2023 7:14 pm

    I don’t suppose Fawkes is willing to respond to this history lesson. In my book he should be made to show the historical data for Bologna on his next weather presentation. But then, I did hear that our local pig farm has been scrambled…

  2. May 19, 2023 7:16 pm

    As Barry Obama’s Head of Dirty Tricks, Rahm Emanuel always told us, “Never led a good crisis go to waste.” Make the most out of other’s misfortune or you just might miss a chance to score some points for your cause dejour.

  3. Gamecock permalink
    May 19, 2023 7:21 pm

    This is just juvenile:

    “As our planet warms up, climate scientists tell us that extreme weather are likely to become more frequent, and I think that really does fit the bill for Italy for what we’ve seen”

    “Likely” is not a force of nature.

    ‘Such weather events are due to meteorological conditions, not climate change’

    Exactly. Attributions of ‘climate change’ should be met with questioning . . . incredulous questioning . . . as to how. How exactly did ‘climate change’ cause the jet stream to dip lower. And then tell us how many times it has dipped before. They’ll probably stop, realizing it is nothing new or even unusual.

    ‘Climate change’ is totalist language, expected to be accepted out of hand, with no further discussion. Climate media expect no rebuttal. In fact, they try to stop it.

  4. Ben Vorlich permalink
    May 19, 2023 7:32 pm

    The Great Fear: The Polesine Flood of 1951
    One of the biggest natural disasters in Italy triggered by climatic conditions was the Polesine flood of November 1951. Following a rainy season the river Po had progressively risen. The breaking of levees at various points along its course had not been sufficient to reduce the water flow significantly. Moreover, the distance between the dykes at the river’s mouth became too narrow, causing the water flow to further increase. At its zenith, the flood reached the Polesine, near the river’s delta, and submerged hundreds of hectares of agricultural land lying below sea level, killing 84 people and leaving 180,000 homeless.

    These days a single reason, climate change.

    • Mack permalink
      May 20, 2023 11:23 am

      Indeed. Talking of history, it may come as a surprise to the Met Office that the first major flood alleviation projects constructed in the River Po basin were undertaken by the, er…. Romans. Fancy that? Must of been a tad damp then too. Definitely man made climate change.

  5. May 19, 2023 7:42 pm

    Al the BBC weather forecasters are climate change propagandists. It is obviously part of their contract. I used to think that Chris Fawkes was the worst of them, but I now think that they are all equally bad.

  6. May 19, 2023 7:49 pm

    At the end of a piece about the latest just stop oil protest in London where a member of the public grabbed a banner or two and a scuffle ensued as per the norm the Daily Telegraph let a JSO spokesperson have the last word:

    Just Stop Oil warning
    In a series of tweets, Just Stop Oil said: “Everyone understands how frustrating it can be to be disrupted, however, as of this morning 13 people are dead and 13,000 people have had to be evacuated from their homes in Italy, due to 6 months’ worth of rain falling in 36 hours.

    “250,000 people are now homeless in Somalia due to extreme flooding, despite the country experiencing its worst drought in 40 years.

    “The disruption we are seeing on British streets is nothing compared to what’s coming if we do not stop licensing new oil, gas and coal

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      May 19, 2023 9:51 pm

      I am sure we can look forward to large teams of navvies trying to create a proper drainage system and clearing up the mess following floods, given an absence of diesel powered bulldozers. In fact, in Somalia it is likely that a dearth of bulldozers and drainage planning was a big contributory cause to the extent of flooding problems.

      • Colín permalink
        May 20, 2023 4:50 pm

        Even supposing we don’t just import the oil, coal, gas that we forego developing Global Warming will be delayed by a few weeks at the very most. At the very most! A major North Sea field might contain 200M bbls of oil. That’s enough to meet global demand for two days. If we assume oil accounts for half of green house emissions stopping that field will delay global warming by an entire day!

      • May 20, 2023 5:55 pm

        R-U-Sirius? Seriously, I cannot tell if you a goofing on the Just Stop Oil nonsense, or if you are a truly deluded climate doofis? Which is it?

    • Gamecock permalink
      May 19, 2023 10:12 pm

      Morons. British contribution to CO2 emissions is <0.04%.

      Y'all can do whatever you want. It makes no fucking difference. None. Double-ought zero. Nyet. Ce n'est rien. De nada.

      Cirrusly, how could people become so stupid? Government education?

      • In The Real World permalink
        May 20, 2023 9:25 am

        Gamecock , actually the UK CO2 emissions are 1% of the total man made emissions . Which are just about 3% of all of the CO2 emissions . Which is then 0.04% of the atmosphere .
        So the UK CO2 is 0.00001% ,[ or 1 in 10 million parts ].

      • Gamecock permalink
        May 20, 2023 11:55 am


    • CheshireRed permalink
      May 20, 2023 12:00 pm

      Italy; weather not climate, so misinformation!

      Somalia; failed basket-case state. Couldn’t organise a pss-up in a brewery. I also couldn’t care less about that place.

  7. May 19, 2023 9:59 pm


  8. mjr permalink
    May 20, 2023 4:58 am

    Friday nights Gardeners World on BBC2, Monty was explaining about the insulated shed where he keeps all his tropical plants over winter (ginger, bananas etc). He said that this had worked over the last 6 years but this winter it was so cold that most of them died. Tut tut Monty! Coldest winter for 5 years? Dont you know that there’s a climate emergency and we are all going to burn? Weather getting colder? Stating facts contrary to the BBC settled science narrative should be a sackable offence.

    • gezza1298 permalink
      May 20, 2023 12:27 pm

      I thought he was telling us to grow Mediterranean plants to cope with our new climate over recent years. I was heartened to read that I was not the only one to have their ceanothus wiped out over the winter.

  9. Phoenix44 permalink
    May 20, 2023 9:28 am

    The trouble is, they have set up a narrative that allows normal (if infrequent) weather to be proof of their claims. A single flood isn’t proof floods are becoming more common (obviously) but it means they can claim “this looks like climate change”.

    It’s dishonest and fraudulent, propaganda in the worst form.

  10. Mad Mike permalink
    May 20, 2023 11:36 am

    This is about some research in to flooding in Southern Italy but I suspect that it applies to Bologna as well.

    “The rainfall shows a decreasing trend, in terms of both the annual maximum of short duration and the annual amount.”

    Click to access 33151643.pdf

    It pretty much echoes what Paul’s research has shown. Just Stop Oil cited this event as proof that a climate crisis is upon us. I don’t think many of their crew will have bothered to research historical data.

    • gezza1298 permalink
      May 20, 2023 12:28 pm

      Just Stop Oil don’t research data as they, like all eco-fascists, are not interested in truth.

      • Ben Vorlich permalink
        May 20, 2023 3:29 pm

        In fact the data is irrelevant

      • Gamecock permalink
        May 20, 2023 3:32 pm

        Correct, Ben. You must give up your freedom . . . cos reasons.

  11. BLACK PEARL permalink
    May 20, 2023 4:30 pm

    Nothing special, look at this flood caused by horse farts I presume ?

    • Gamecock permalink
      May 20, 2023 9:12 pm

      Might have cleaned the horse poop off the roads. Temporarily.

  12. May 20, 2023 9:23 pm

    It did not take the BBC long to link the tragic Bologna floods this week to climate change

    All they’ve got is their climate hammer, so every weather event looks like a nail.

    • May 21, 2023 2:24 pm

      Well stated. You get what you measure, and never let a good crisis go to waste come to mind as well.

  13. Luc Ozade permalink
    May 21, 2023 5:39 am

    Brilliant Paul, thanks. Thank goodness we can rely on you to provide the antidote to the latest extreme weather event picked up on by the headline-reading numbskulls within the circle of nearest (but not necessarily dearest) friends and family.

    By the way, what’s happened to the Twitter icon to log in with?

  14. Tom permalink
    May 21, 2023 2:54 pm

    It’s been caused by the autohorities!

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