Don’t mention global warming. Family taboo. Yet the blogosphere buzzes with its obituary. The matchless Christopher Booker on Sunday drew attention to, “The graph the Met Office didn’t want you to see… Last week it didn’t take long for the bush fires set off by Australia’s ‘hottest summer ever’ to be blamed on runaway global warming. Less attention was given to heavy snow in Jerusalem (worst for 20 years) or the abnormal cold bringing death and destruction to China (worst for 30 years), northern India (coldest for 77 years) and Alaska, with average temperatures down in the past decade by more than a degree. But another story, which did attract coverage across the world, was the latest in a seemingly endless series of embarrassments for the UK Met Office.”
The Met Office chose Christmas Eve to revise the graph posted a year ago showing its prediction of global temperatures, hoping nobody would notice. Climate bloggers soon saw how different it was. It was picked up by the Global Warming Policy Foundation and while the Met Office’s allies, “such as the BBC’s old warmist warhorses Roger Harrabin and David Shukman, were soon trying to downplay the story, claiming that the forecast had only been revised by ‘a fifth’, and that even if the temperature rise had temporarily stalled, due to ‘natural factors’, the underlying warming trend would soon reappear.”
In 2011 the Met Office’s computer model prediction showed temperatures soaring to a level 0.8 degrees higher than their average between 1971 and 2000, far higher than the previous record in 1998. The new graph shows the lack of significant warming for the past 15 years is likely to continue. “Apart from how this was obscured by the BBC, there are several reasons why this is of wider significance for the rest of us.”
The Met Office has promoted the worldwide scare over global warming. Its computer models, “through its alliance with the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (centre of the Climategate emails scandal), have been accorded unique prestige by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, ever since the global-warming-obsessed John Houghton, then head of the Met Office, played a key part in setting up the IPCC in 1988.”
It was not going to abandon easily its belief that the main force shaping climate was the rise in CO2. Yet as I have pointed out before, its chief scientist, Julia Slingo, admitted to MPs in 2010, its short-term forecasts are based on the same ‘numerical models’ as ‘we use for our climate prediction work’, and these have been predicting ‘hotter, drier summers’ and ‘warmer winters’. The result was the fiascos that made the Met Office a laughing stock, from the ‘barbecue summer’ that never was in 2008, to the ‘warmer than average winter’ of 2010 that brought us our coldest-ever December, to its prediction last spring that April, May and June 2012 would probably be ‘drier than average’, just before we enjoyed the wettest April and summer on record.
Mr Booker has been joined by active blogger James Delingpole’s announcement that The New York Times has closed its Environment Desk. “Rumours that the entire environment team, headed by Andy Revkin, have volunteered to be recycled into compost and spread on the lawn of the new billion dollar home Al Gore bought with the proceeds of his sale of Current TV to Middle Eastern oil interests are as yet unconfirmed. What we do know is that it's very, very sad and that all over the Arctic baby polar bears are weeping bitter tears of regret.”
There family. I’ve mentioned Global Warming but I think I got away with it.