Sunday, July 01, 2007

Climate change

The British Met Office has staked its reputation on the subject of anthropic climate change. They even publish a cargo cult science page of "Climate Change Myths" which is an unashamed piece of advocacy, rather than a dispassionate look at the facts.

Met Office forecaster Keith Fenwick is quoted in a piece about the unusually wet June weather in today's Observer. In passing, he says:

There were a few days of cold weather last week but apart from that, this month has been warmer than the average June by more than a degree Celsius: 13.7 degrees this year compared to the average June temperature of 12.6,' said Fenwick.

This warm weather is consistent with the Met Office's prediction that this summer will be significantly warmer than average, a result - in turn - of industrial emissions that are now warming the climate to dangerous levels.
So, what's average?

The Met Office also publishes raw data, and its mean temperature statistics are drawn from a data set that starts in 1772 This data, therefore, takes in the period of unusually cold weather known as the Little Ice Age.

It's hardly surprising that current temperatures should exceed this. Another perspective on June 2007 temperatures can be gained by looking at the sorted data. In the tabulated data recorded since 1659, June 2007 ranks 271 out of 349. It was 78th warmest in a data set that encompasses a long period of unusually cool temperatures.

This isn't the picture you'd get from the Observer article, which goes on to state:
Meanwhile, in the eastern Mediterranean, the scorching weather that has affected the area for several weeks has continued to bring high temperatures. In Athens, they reached 31C, in Corfu 32, Rhodes 33 and Crete 37.
But somehow fails to mention the unusually cold temperatures that have been affecting other parts of the world. Like Chile:
Regional Chile was also affected by the cold, experiencing record low temperatures and heavy snowfall. Snow even fell in the port cities of Valpara√≠so and Puerto Montt, and an estimated 10,000 people were left stranded between Regions XVIII and X after Friday’s snows.

Eastern portions of the XVIII and IX Regions, including the Lonquimay and Alto Biobio areas, were declared “agricultural emergency areas”, and more than 6,000 people in native Pehuenche communities were left stranded. Emergency aid in the form of blankets, mattresses, food and medicine were distributed throughout the affected areas.
and South Africa:
Johannesburg recorded its first confirmed snowfall for almost 26 years overnight as temperatures dropped below freezing in South Africa's largest city, grounding flights at its main airport.
Now, I'm not suggesting that temperature anomalies make a trend. But the Observer is, and their report is straightforwardly misleading. Lying by omission is still lying. This June has been cooler than most recent Junes. Where it stands against an average drawn since 1772 is neither here nor there.

The biggest problem I have with the AGW alarmism comes from reports like this. If their case is right, why do they have to mislead? Let's take a different time scale for our average, by way of comparison:

This shows negative temperature anomalies for the present climate. It's just as meaningless as the Met Office's averages and anomalies. Their failure to provide reasonable perspective for their announcements is a disgrace.

1 comment:

dearieme said...

I'm coming round to the view that the advocates of GW are using so much suppression of truth that they must suspect that they are wrong.