Met Office: Bin data, use models instead

The Met Office seems to be ramping up its cries of climate alarmism at the moment. Last week we were told that there was a “climate risk” to crops that “would bring global famine”. This was based, as usual, on computer models.

Today the Met Office has issued a new alarmist press release, claiming that the UK has a High risk of unprecedented rainfall. Unsurprisingly, this has been parroted by the BBC, the Telegraph, the Guardian and the Independent. The press release is based on an open-access research paper in Nature Communications. There’s even a video.

The press release includes this graphic, which has to be one of the most ridiculous diagrams ever produced by climate scientists.

The picture at the top right says “Our climate has also changed, so older observations may no longer be relevant”, and literally shows observations being thrown into the rubbish bin. The so-called “solution”, is to run computer models and use them instead, and one of the so-called scientists involved claims that “Our computer simulations provided one hundred times more data than is available from observed records”. Are these people really so stupid that they think that the output of their computer models is not only equivalent to, but even better than, real observations? Finally there is the (predetermined) “outcome” which of course is a dark red warning sign. Only data since 1980 is used, so earlier periods, when there were many bad winter floods, are ignored.

The Met Office makes the following claim:
“New innovative research has found that for England and Wales there is a 1 in 3 chance of a new monthly rainfall record in at least one region each winter (Oct-Mar).”
So when the observations over the next few years don’t support this, we can dump the Met Office’s computer model in the bin and go back to looking at the real data again. But that won’t matter – the alarmist press release has been spread widely across the media, as required.

Here’s a reminder of what the IPCC says about flooding:

In summary, there continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale.

The climate scientists should of course be aware of this, but they simply sweep it under the carpet, preferring instead to carry out science by anecdote, talking about the floods in the 2013/14 winter.

Regional climate modelling is notoriously unreliable, as is modelling of clouds and rainfall. Here is a rather vague statement on this from the IPCC AR5 SPM.

There has been some improvement in the simulation of continental-scale patterns of precipitation since the AR4. At regional scales, precipitation is not simulated as well, and the assessment is hampered by observational uncertainties.

Again, there is no mention of this in the press release or the paper, the only admission being that their model “is still not perfect”.

Thanks to Howard Goodall for alerting me to this.


  1. The end of the video claims that “these improved estimates will help policymakers […] plan for future events”.

    No they wont. And the reasons they won’t are explained by Benny Peiser in this GWPF video, produced in the wake of the Met Office’s failed prediction of a dry 2013/4 winter.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Surely many seasons naturally produce a record of some sort somewhere?


  3. WILDECO2014 — I think Clive Best did that…

    If you’re reading, Clive, it would be great to see a more detailed breakdown for the less numerically-fluent.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The data they bin is monthly precipitation records prior to 1981 – which for England and Wales go way back to 1766 and show extreme monthly rainfall in the 21st century is not that unusual compared to 70, 80, 100 150 years ago etc. Hence, when they talk of the risk of ‘unprecedented’ monthly winter rainfall, what the met office mean is that it is only ‘unprecedented’ with respect to the “current climate”, i.e. monthly rainfall totals for the period 1981-2015.

    Cutting edge Met Office climate research – ex-communicating climate history to concentrate on the ‘climate changed’ present.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. “The data doesn’t matter. We’re not basing our recommendations on the data. We’re basing them on the climate models.”
    – Prof. Chris Folland, Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Can’t help wondering if this latest Met Office hype is a prelude to (and/or taste of) their “expert” contribution to what must be a dearth of actual evidence in support of the IPCC’s 1.5° paper. Calls for “expert” reviewers of this paper, Richard Betts has been dutifully flogging via twitter of late.

    Not to mention that all this hottest/wettest year evaaah stuff strikes me as being a somewhat convenient diversion from the more “traditional” CO2 is the greatest threat evaaah – although in many circles** this “threat” appears to be morphing into the greatest opportunity evaaah.

    ** Not the least of which, I’m ashamed to say, is being circumscribed by Canada’s very own “ignoratti” led by our selfie-boy (former WWF-er Gerald Butts’ primary puppet), PM Justin Trudeau and his cheer-leading, know-nothing, Climate Barbie, Catherine McKenna: She who not too long ago actually confessed that when she started on the job, she had no clue what a COP was!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A person if some prominence and credibility really needs to stand up soon and call out the anti-science nonsense that climate extremism is leading far too many to participate in. Your Met is literally going to start destroying the data, 1984 style to make their useless models work. The comingling of real data with models, no matter their excuse, is the equivalent if embezzling. It starts with rationalization then becomes wholesale destruction.
    There us not a single measure of weather that has significantly changed and they know it. They are merely rationalizing their corrupt practice.


  8. Yep, this is the second Met Office study, hot on the heels of the last re. crop failures, which assesses the risk ‘in the current climate’ of extreme events happening by generating a huge amount of extra ‘observations’ based on model runs. Richard Betts asserted that the first had absolutely nothing to do with AGW and was all about natural variability; his own colleagues at the Met Office have contradicted that viewpoint (using rather weasely words, it must be said) with the latest study on extreme rainfall which, as far as I can tell, uses exactly the same technique. The MSM, of course, have promoted both studies as evidence of impending AGW doom, so no change there. Personally, I have big issues with any scientists who identify a ‘current climate’, beginning thirty odd years ago, assumed to be stable throughout, and different enough from the ‘previous climate’ to justify rejecting all data from that previous climate (or climates). Seems a crazy way to do science to me.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Jaime,
    Whatever the Met is doing they are not doing science. And if they are marketing the climate consensus they are doing so with techniques that would make used car salesman blush. They are acting more like a televangelist than a science based institution.


  10. Clive Best underestimates the inevitability of the Met Office being proved right somewhere, somehow, since there are 6 months in an English winter (official estimate.)

    New innovative research has found that for England and Wales there is a 1 in 3 chance of a new monthly rainfall record in at least one region each winter (Oct-Mar).

    There are ten regions, and six months in winter, and a one-in-three chance corresponds roughly to a record event every three winters. So that’s 180 possible opportunities to break a rainfall record. Somewhere. In the thirty seven winters since 1980.

    And don’t forget there are other records that could be broken over the same period in the same arbitrarily defined spaces, like droughts or plagues of locusts.

    I’ve spent the morning translating Chinese poetry. It so happens that today I’ve translated more poems by Du Fu than I’ve ever translated in a single morning in my life. There’s a less than one in 25,000 probability of that happening by chance. How weird is that?


  11. If you’re reading, Clive, it would be great to see a more detailed breakdown for the less numerically-fluent.

    If we stick to just England then there are 9 regions: North East, North West, Yorkshire and Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England, Greater London, South East, South West.
    To make 11 you simply include Wales and Northern Ireland.

    For a record monthly rainfall to occur in any region during ‘winter’ means that there a 11*3 possible ways to meet this criteria. This is because winter is usually defined as Nov,Dec,Jan (3 months) and any one of those months will suffice for a record rainfall in any 1 of the 11 regions.

    I don’t know how far back reliable rainfall measurements go but lets be generous and say they go back 100 years in each region. So the probability by random that the monthly rainfall record is exceeded for a single month and for a given region is 1/100 or 0.01. Now loosen the requirement to any region during any winter month. The probability increases to 33*0.01 = 0.33

    That is 1 in 3 !

    If Paul is correct and they are claiming winter = oct,nov,dec,jan,feb,mar then the probability doubles !

    Richard Allan @rpallanuk replied to my tweet
    The 1 in 3 is for 4 regions where simulations trusted so 12/100 but you’re right that if you have lots of regions should get records often

    Even if Richard is correct, but they define winter as Oct-Mar, then the random probability is still 0.24 which essentially is the same as 0.3.

    Null Points


  12. Bureaucrats….or bureauhacks….have played deceptive games with stats for a long time. The public way in which the Met is erasing the past by contamination of the data record by pretending simulations are the same as data seems to be new.
    The implied destruction of data is made real by this contamination in a sense. But the rather pathetic cartoon implies that at the least the Met doesn’t care to be bothered with the pesky data. Their virtual weather game is better than life, to borrow a phrase…..


  13. Clive. Are the regions you’ve used the same as the MO?

    I find this somewhat confusing graphic on the page for the weather data series at

    I make it nine regions.

    The claim in the paper relating to Richard’s point is this:

    We extended the investigation to all regions of England where the model is consistent with the observations (‘Methods’); the regions included are south east England, Midlands, East Anglia and north east England. There is a 34% probability of an unprecedented winter monthly rainfall total in at least one month in at least one region.

    the Hadobs rainfall dataset go back to 1766. (The data in fact refute the notion that there has been any increase in extreme maximums, but that’s another story).

    It’s not clear from your comment how to do the math here.

    Another problem occurs to me.

    The probability of “an unprecedented winter monthly rainfall total in at least one month in at least one region” in 1766 was precisely 100%. What does this now say about the chances of another unprecedented maximum occurring in 1767? I’ll stick my finger in the air, and say it’s 50/50. This would seem to suggest that the probability of a new unprecedented even diminishes. But then, the other reality is that the longer a dataset continues, the more likely it is to find new maxima, until the system’s ceilings and floors (or something like them, and assuming they exist at all) are found.

    As it happens, the maxima for the “winter months” for the SE England, are as follows, JFMOND: 2014, 1883, 1947, 1903, 1852, 1876. The MO emphasise January in the study because it’s the only recent instance of a maximum, though the OND records are all higher than the January. Sleight of hand!

    So, from the data, and from some of the reviewers comments, it would seem that the ‘risks’ of unprecedented rainfall are reduced in the current climate.

    Nonetheless, the claim is that “There is a 34% probability of an unprecedented winter monthly rainfall total in at least one month in at least one region”.

    I.e. we will see either:

    A. the 1981-present (continuous) record being exceeded once every three years.


    B. the existing record being exceed every three years.

    A is clearly bullshit.

    B is problematic, because when we look back at the data, we don’t see extreme maximums emerging until 2014, 1883, 1947, 1903, 1852, 1876 — 248, 117, 181, 137, 86, and 110 years after the data record began (for each month). The reference period — 1981-2015 — is only 34 years, by contrast. 34 years data might be enough to establish “climate” as an average, but not extremes.

    Sorry for the rambling… What I’m getting at here, is that the comparison of the 34% statement of risk with pure chances needs a few more parameters, and it also suffers from being an imprecise statement. The sands shift even more towards the counter-factual when we include the authors’ and Betts’s claim that “climate has changed” — his justification for omitting pre-1981 data.

    Also, we should ask, if there are only four out of nine (or eleven) regions that the model works for, this is surely picking cherries — in the worst way possible. In terms of comparison with random guesses, is it even 50/50?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. NB I edited the line: “A. the 1981-present (continuous) record being exceeded once every three years.”

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Ben,

    They define their own 9 regions and It seems they then only chose to study 4 of them. I downloaded the rainfall monthly averages for their 4 regions and they all start in 1873. That means there are 144 completed years to consider.

    The probability goes as 1/nyears so in year 1 the probability is 100% year 2: 50% year 3: 33% etc.

    So the probability in year 145 is 1/145 or 0.7%

    Yes it seems they define ‘winter’ to be 6 months and they are limiting themselves to just 4 regions. So the random probability of a record year in 2017 is 16.5% or 1 in 6

    They claim that climate change has increased the probability to 1 in 3. In other words that the chance has doubled. Now if that is true then it should be possible to check this in the data itself because the probability must have been steadily increasing, or their claim is wrong. It can’t suddenly step up by a factor 2

    Someone should write some software to check, but I doubt there is any real evidence that this has occurred.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. The paper is very unclear about the “regions”. In the methods section it says there are just six regions “of England”:

    ‘To expand the study to cover all regions of England the model fidelity tests were carried out on six regions: south west England and south Wales, south east England, Midlands, East Anglia, north east England and north west England and north Wales’.

    But these regions include Wales too. But the title of the paper is about the whole of the UK!
    How does such unclear nonsense get accepted in Nature?

    Ben has asked the Met Office for clarification on twitter.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Paul — How does such unclear nonsense get accepted in Nature?

    It really amazes me, even with the IANAS caveat…

    What was the test of ‘consistent with’? Why aren’t the results of the test for each region supplied, included or excluded?

    I don’t think that it’s just because it smells wrong that these results are omitted… It is wrong. Surely. The paper tells us nothing.


  18. The problem goes much deeper than just establishing whether the probability of this or that event is badly calculated. A careful reading of the press release, and presumably the paper, is needed. It’s because of sloppiness that they can’t tell us what time period or geographical region they’re referring to. But they can’t tell us what they mean by an extreme event either, and that’s not sloppiness, but conceptual confusion, which is all over their press release.

    They mention floods in 2013/14 and 2015 and follow with: “By their very nature extreme events are rare..” Hang on. Something that happened two years ago and three years ago doesn’t sound rare to me. And though all extreme events are rare, not all rare events are extreme. It’s extremely rare to experience a light drizzle of 0.1mm at nine in the morning, followed by a similar one at nine at night. But that doesn’t make it extreme.

    In the following paragraph:

    Professor Adam Scaife, who leads this area of research at the Met Office said “The new Met Office supercomputer was used to simulate thousands of possible winters, some of them much more extreme than we’ve yet witnessed. This gave many more extreme events than have happened in the real world, helping us work out how severe things could get.”

    So simulating reality gives you more extreme events – many more – than reality itself. And then at the end things become “severe.” So we’ve gone from rare to extreme to severe in two paragraphs. Why not go straight to catastrophic and save us the pseudo-science?

    Dr Vikki Thompson, lead author of the report, said “Our computer simulations provided one hundred times more data than is available from observed records. Our analysis showed that these events could happen at any time

    Yes, events can happen any time. Another tautology. And if you define a month as any 30 day period and a region as anywhere with a rainfall gauge, you’ll have a thousand times more events to measure. But why bother when the data goes in the bin anyway, to be replaced by simulations?

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Geoff, yes, this is one extreme esoterical scientific method that the Met Office have come up with.

    1. They limit the number of real world observations of climate to the last 36 years, claiming that historical observations are ‘irrelevant’ because the climate was different back then.
    2. They more than make up for the lack of actual observations by using a climate model to generate many thousands of weird and wonderful ‘winters’ (Oct – Mar) in cyberspace.
    3. They then calculate the actual, real world risk of getting extreme ‘winter’ weather from this hybrid virtual reality/real world dataset.

    Dame Julia Slingo’s “Golden Age of Computer Models” has truly arrived and I am just stunned by how brass-necked it is!

    Liked by 3 people

  20. There is something dangerous about all this. Tony Heller has for a long time aggresively highlighted the cynical altering of past data to prove a curve by those who hold the authority and responsibility of the climatic record. Yet this seems to go beyond altering the past to justify the present; it is deliberately dismissing the past as irrelevant and more or less stating that climate began in 1980. Are the Met so devious as to gently (in a very English way) eliminate the past to justify their theory and indeed their existence? Is this another cynical step to squash free thinking and access to information?
    This is wrong on so many levels and Hunter is correct, someone prominent needs to be able to challenge this and by that I mean someone other than a Trump or a Farage. Who in the scientific community, respected by public and politicians alike, has the courage so see this is just plain wrong and call it out? Does such a person now exist? I listened to Gove’s madness on R4 this morning on scrapping the internal combustion engine by 2040. All the policies, actions and rhetoric start from a premise about CO2 as the demon gas. None of this madness on diesel, petrol, air quality, cladding, wind farms, solar farms, power plant closures, anti-fracking, virgin forest wood pellets, lies, damn lies and statistics would occur without that premise that is now rooted in the psyche of the apparent majority of otherwise intelligent people. We will go on making, what in time will be shown as stupid, really really stupid decisions, until we all freeze over.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Badger, I had hopes that the era of Green Madness was drawing to a close, but Gove of all people has just re-energised it with this latest insane announcement that the sale of petrol and diesel cars is to be banned by 2040, ‘for public health and for the good of the planet’. Without a simultaneous roll-out of new power station construction (clean coal/gas/nuclear) this ambition to have all cars on the road at least hybrid electric by mid-century is doomed to fail. The national grid will not cope. Quite apart from the fact that electric cars are still nowhere near as efficient, effective, reliable and fuctionally simple to use as petrol/diesel vehicles.
    But I don’t think this is really about saving the planet at all, or making our air cleaner. It’s about Agenda 21, it’s about drastically curtailing personal freedoms by limiting that most sacred of personal freedoms – the joy of personal mobility, the freedom to go where you want, when you want, relatively inexpensively, using your own personal transport. By mid century, if Gove’s nutty proposals become reality, personal transport will become unavailable to all but the richest in society – unless you want to ‘whizz’ around in a horse and cart, and even then the local council will probably impose a swingeing ‘horse poo tax’ on you.


  22. We are witnessing the self immolation if our culture. We are the Roman pagans amazed at how a strange religion based on a myth from Judea is suddenly taken over the governance if Rome….and leading to its destruction.
    And once again just in time to allow the Muslims a good swing at our culture.
    What the Met is doing is being repeated worldwide. Not one nation is coherently standing against this madness. Trump is as close as it gets (and frankly he is not as good as he wishes) and he is experiencing a slow motion coup anyway.


  23. Ignore history. Misdefine standard geographical regions. Ignore the extensive literature that climate models have no regional downscaling skill. Then produce a conclusion that can be generally simply got by not ignoring history and knowing basic probability theory. Then sell the misbegotten long way round computer model ‘data’ as ‘new’ and ‘worrisome’. Standard ‘climate science’.


  24. Just to add to the confusion over regions, the digitalised Met Office data going back to 1910 has six “district regions” in England/Wales. plus three in Scotland and one in N Ireland:

    The “Unprecedented Rainfall” paper specifically talks about Oct to March as “winter months”.

    Therefore just looking at England & Wales, which the paper does, we get six months and six regions. Over 108 years, this gives a probability of a monthly record as 36/108, or 0.33.


  25. There are some good comments here. However, there is something else that should be considered. Climate change is meant to cause the climate to go into chaos. That means that there are hundreds of possible ways climate could get worse. It could be wetter or drier, in either summer or winter. That is four variables, of which the Met Office choose just one. Or could be in any 1, 2, 3… or 12 month period. Then again, climate change could mean more frequent and violent storms, such as that of 1987. Or it could mean more heatwaves. Statistically, that could be a number of different ways, such as, say, 5 consecutive days in a month where the peak daily temperature is more than 5C about the long-term monthly average peak temperature.
    So why choose rainfall in winter? Maybe it is because in recent years there have been a number of unusually wet winters. It might be worth understanding a common fallacy when looking at large amounts of data.

    Texas sharpshooter fallacy is an informal fallacy which is committed when differences in data are ignored, but similarities are stressed. From this reasoning, a false conclusion is inferred. This fallacy is the philosophical/rhetorical application of the multiple comparisons problem (in statistics) and apophenia (in cognitive psychology). It is related to the clustering illusion, which refers to the tendency in human cognition to interpret patterns where none actually exist.
    The name comes from a joke about a Texan who fires some gunshots at the side of a barn, then paints a target centered on the tightest cluster of hits and claims to be a sharpshooter.

    A run of extremely wet winters might be due to random clustering, or it could genuine patterns from natural variation, or it could be a sign of human-caused climate change. The data might not show it, but the test would be to present all the historical data by region, by month, with the wet and dry records. There are 4 potential records – Winter/Summer. wet/dry. Maybe we should double it by looking at January-June and July to December as well. If there is a trend, the records for, say, 10 regions will provide 80 records to be broken, but the most statistically likely will be wet records in winter. I suspect that it will be found, over a number of years, that some other permutation will have more “records” than the wet winter (October-March) of the model.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Manic,

    “A run of extremely wet winters might be due to random clustering, or it could be genuine patterns from natural variation, or it could be a sign of human-caused climate change.”

    I think the natural variation looks likely, specifically, winter NAO. 2010-13 we had some very dry winters and the Met Office and the Guardian were saying this was the new normal with climate change. 2014-15 were very wet. NAO was positive. El Nino was in full swing.

    (Ignore the artificial drop off at the end)


  27. I notice that in the childish graphic the Met uses for their new Minitruth role that they merely offer a conjecture that the historic record should not be used. They offer no evidence at all that this is the case.


  28. I’d like to offer the thesis that, except for a few special cases, there is no climate change skepticism — there is only climate change denialism.

    To justify this thesis, I must first explain what I mean by “skepticism”. To me, skepticism is an informed judgement that some broadly held idea is unsupported by evidence. In order to be skeptical, one must understand all the evidence regarding the issue.

    Therefore, in order to be a genuine climate skeptic, one must be fully acquainted with the entire body of evidence on climate change. I make an exception for a specialist who knows a crucial topic of the discipline and can formulate informed skepticism about the common beliefs on that topic — but only if that topic is crucial to the entire line of reasoning behind AGW.

    I can state with confidence that there does not exist any person who is familiar with the entirety of evidence on the subject of climate change, because that body of evidence is far greater than any one person can learn. The rate of publication of new scientific papers on the subject is higher than the amount of time any person would have to study all such papers.

    To illustrate this point, I refer the reader to IPCC AR5 WG1, the definitive summary of climate science as of late 2013. This is only a summary of the state of the subject, yet it is over 2,000 pages long.

    AR5 WG1 provides us with an acid test of comprehension of climate science. I assert that any person who has not studied and understood the bulk of AR5 WG1 cannot develop an informed opinion on AGW. It’s the basic handbook on the subject, the introduction to the field. Similarly, I claim that any person who does have a solid grasp of AR5 WG1 can certainly build an informed opinion on the subject.

    Now, I hold a master of science degree in physics. I built my first climate model in 1975 or 1976 — it was a ridiculously primitive model, but even it was able to show some interesting results. After grad school I paid little attention to the subject, and there was little scientific activity in the field. But scientific interest in the subject perked up in the 1990s, and I started following it, rather distantly at first, but once the information became readily available on the Internet in the early 2000s, I expanded my reading on the subject. Since then, the field has mushroomed and I have been able to follow only a small fraction of the results.

    My grasp of AGW is certainly well below that of any professional working in the field. I would never be so conceited as to presume to contradict any professional working in the field, because I know how complicated matters are.

    Which brings me to climate change denialism. I am aghast at the towering presumption of people who know almost nothing about the subject pontificating about it. It certainly appears to be a solid proof of the inverse of the adage that “The more I learn, the less I know.” Climate change denialists make all manner of grossly ignorant statements, without the slightest blush of shame. They have no inkling of just how stupid their assertions are.

    I would expect that any educated person would be personally familiar with the difficulty of acquiring an education on any given topic. It takes four years of grinding study to get a mere bachelor’s degree in any field, and an additional six years to earn a doctorate in the field. I would think that pride in one’s own educational achievements would engender a concomitant respect for the educational achievements of those in other fields.

    And yet we see climate change denialists making strident statements based on a cursory examination of material from obviously biased sources, and very little study of rigorous sources. I have never understood how climate change denialists who are obviously educated can take a stance so inimical to the value of education.


  29. Logical fallacy here by Crawford. If sceptics are unable to criticise statements made by climate science specialists (because they cannot understand the entirety of climate science), then climate science specialists should not be making statements about climate science for exactly the same reason. It’s such a stupid argument – experts know best and others should respect their judgements and keep quiet. A complete abrogation of the scientific method.


  30. I hardly know where to start. Chris Crawford’s remarks are so full of falsehoods and misunderstandings. At least it gave me a good laugh though.

    Particularly hilarious is reference to AR5 WG1, as if he thinks we’ve never heard of it.
    I wrote numerous blog articles on AR5 WG1 starting when it came out in September 2013, criticising many aspects of its misleading statements.

    As pointed out by Alan, Crawford then contradicts himself by breaking his own rule – you have to understand all the evidence … unless you’re a specialist.

    More importantly, the claim that you have to understand all of climate science before you are allowed to criticise it is utterly untrue. You don’t need to understand all of climate science to criticise the muddled sloppiness of the paper discussed here with regard to the regions of the UK (or is it England? Or England and Wales?) , or to understand the screening fallacy commonly used by climate scientists to fabricate hockeystick graphs.

    Crawford exhibits the very common combination of arrogance and ignorance from people who blunder into the climate debate. Needless to say, his arrogant ranting assertions are backed up by not the tiniest shred of evidence.

    His “I have never understood… ” really made me smile. That reminds me of someone else who used to comment here. Yes, there’s a lot you don’t understand.


  31. Oh dear, Chris wasn’t satisfied with losing the argument at the Conversation. He’s alighted here. We’ll be happy to deconstruct your logical fallacies here too Chris – only, we might have to queue up to take our turn!


  32. Too bad Chris’s education was so wasted that he can only offer the defense of the religious extremist when confronted with someone who questions the veracity if his holy text:
    Declare the questioner a heretic not worthy of thoughtful reply.
    That Chris needs to bloviate his rationalizations for fleeing from the topic at hand at such length is entertaining. That he goes on and on and on in such a circular and fallacy filled manner is not unexpected.
    He could have simply used the argument of some old racist cracker when confronted with blacks who were questioning segregation and declared that he was not going to debate the issue with uppity niμμers and not only saved a lot if time but would have been more honest.
    Chris is just another intellectual light weight depending on his self-declared superiority and bigotry to hide his inability to think critically or actually defend his beliefs rationally.


  33. Well, my comment certainly fomented a strong response. Let’s go over the arguments presented.

    Several people reject my argument that ignorance deprives an opinion of worthiness. In this, they are inspired more by egalitarianism than logic. It should be patent that a more knowledgeable person knows more about a topic than a less knowledgeable person.

    Mr. Matthews believes that my position is that a specialist who understands the material does not need to understand the material. Quod verba?

    He then goes on to assert once again that one need not understand science in order to criticize it. Again, quod verba?

    I note with some satisfaction that the bulk of the commentary comprises attacks on my intelligence and character. I expected as much, but by all means feel free to excoriate, denigrate, and condemn me to your heart’s content. My purpose in posting here was to test the hypothesis that denialists are irrational. This hypothesis has been confirmed by my experiences interacting with denialists over the last 15 years, but this blog seemed to be handled at a higher intellectual level, so I felt obliged by intellectual integrity to test the hypothesis with this group. The responses here all support the hypothesis. Not one substantive argument was presented in response to my post.

    Integrity requires me to monitor responses here, just in case somebody does come up with a response that contradicts my hypothesis. However, I see no point in arguing with anybody here. The clouds could part, a brilliant light could shine down upon you, and, with an angelic choir singing in the background, a heavy voice could boom “AGW is genuine and serious!” — and you’d STILL deny it! There is no evidence that would change your minds.

    However, I’ll be happy to answer any honest questions.


  34. Chris is so self deluded he thinks he is making meaningful arguments.
    He has the arrogance of a missionary with nine of the comoassion.
    Note to Chris: repeating your argument from authority and self defeating admissions that you are unqualified to an opinion (except to agree) unless you are an “expert” on a topic only makes you look even less capable.


  35. …God how I hate autofill….
    Chris you waltz in with a fact free opinion full of fallacies and call us all “deniers” and then claim we are attacking your character and integrity?
    Try exhibiting some first.
    Your inability to make a coherent rational argument is on display. Pointing it out along with valid comparisons of your style is not attacking your character or integrity.
    You do that all by yourself.
    At least when I garble a message I can blame tiny phone keyboards and imperfect software.
    You are saying exactly what you think and believe….


  36. Hunter, indeed, “Not one substantive argument was presented” applies to Mr Crawford. Another LOL.

    Oh, and another ROTFL – we are accused of egalitarianism! Usually we are accused of being right-wing.


  37. The graphs at Paul Homewoood’s excellent article at
    provide the support for manicbeancounter’s point about the Texas Sharpshooter fallacy.

    Manic’s point, that climate chaos means that there are hundreds of possible ways climate could get worse, can be generalised to cover the whole climate change discussion. The catastrophe comes first, and it’s the scientists’ self-appointed job to find out exactly what form it will take. So they fire at the barn and look for what it means after. Except that now they’re not even firing real bullets, but conducting simulations.

    And you can add another dimension when you bring in the floods, illustrated in the Met Office article. Because nothing in their simulations says that rainfall as heavy as, but more frequent than, other rainfall in the past, has to cause floods. That’s up to land use and simple prevention measures.


  38. Yes, that’s another good point. One year, Britain has its wettest winter since xxxx and it’s because of climate change. Next year, North-west China has its driest April since records began, which is yet more evidence of man-made climate chamge. And the year after that, Luxembourg has its warmest February ever…


  39. Well, it looks as if my hypothesis has been confirmed beyond my expectations. This group has responded with a freshet of slurs, insults, and deprecations bereft of intellectual content. I’m rather disappointed; I had hoped to find a group of denialists who could offer a basis for substantive discussion.

    Vaya con dios.

    [Goodbye you very silly person. You wouldn’t recognise a rational discussion if it hit you up the arse with Six’s Maximum-minimum thermometer. But your comments are always welcome. Signed, Moderator Geoff Chambers]


  40. Chris has demonstrated what an emperor does when he is caught strutting around in what he thinks are fine clothes.


  41. Something just occurred to me also about this Met Office method for assessing the probability of extreme weather by generating thousands of virtual observations. I’ve left a comment at Paul Homewood’s site.

    “There is a glaring inconsistency here in calculating the probability of extreme weather by running climate models thousands of times. They’ve generated 100×35 years of virtual ‘observations’. I am sure that, if the ‘current climate’ were to be maintained for a period of 3500 years, we would indeed eventually see all these weird and wonderful extremely wet winters, simply because, over such a long period, natural variability would play itself out to the maximum extent possible given the prevailing atmospheric conditions. But that’s not going to happen. We have possibly two decades more of the ‘current climate’ before it shifts (i.e. gets warmer or cooler) and general circulation patterns shift with it probably. I don’t think that’s enough time for their extreme rainfall scenarios to play out with anything like the 34% probability which they calculate.”

    Can anyone see a problem with my reasoning?


  42. Between opinion offered as fact, reliance on appeals to authority and intellectual cowardice Chris is well described by the ancient proverb,
    “He ducks like a quack”.
    Run away, Sir Robin….


  43. Of course, the authors must have accounted for the very much shorter period of 20 years or so to calculate their probability of extreme weather happening imminently. But there’s a credibility issue here I’m sure: using 35 years of actual observations of extreme weather to assess the real possibility of extreme weather in the next 20 years (perhaps by running the models for an extra 2 decades) seems more justifiable than running the models for 3500 years, then scaling down that entire ‘observational’ dataset to reflect possible extreme weather in the next 20 years. The whole thing is just so weird. Creating a virtual reality and then mapping it back onto reality is weird.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Jaime,
    The virtual reality of the modeling procedures would not be weird if the projections were testable. That is if the Met Office published data of winter rainfall for each of the regions. But they have not even stated how many regions there actually are. It is left for people in the comments here to guess. My guess is neither the ten political regions, nor the six regions that Ben Pile and Paul Homewood mention. I will go for nine that the Met Office uses for forecasting. That is the political regions excluding London.
    I think that the risk with publishing the data for all 35 years, is that (like the NOAA graph you posted yesterday seemed to indicate), the recent rise in winter rainfall might a phenomenon of only the last few years may be just a random natural artifact. Someone in a few years can then look at the data and evaluate the predictions. But if the signal of the human-caused element is detectable from using one of the world’s most powerful computers, there should be no issue with revealing the data. Confirmation of predictions is a powerful persuader. It is the near total lack of short-run predictive successes by the climate community that makes me extremely sceptical of long-run claims.

    I have written my own take on the Met Office “projections”.

    Liked by 2 people

  45. Chris Crawford says

    I’d like to offer the thesis that, except for a few special cases, there is no climate change skepticism — there is only climate change denialism.

    To justify this thesis, I must first explain what I mean by “skepticism”. To me, skepticism is an informed judgement that some broadly held idea is unsupported by evidence. In order to be skeptical, one must understand all the evidence regarding the issue.

    This seems to be a more extreme version of John Cook’s definition of an article back in 2011. I once decided to compare Cook’s definition of “sceptic” with those in my Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. My notes were

    Definition 1 pertains to a school of philosophy after the Greek Pyrrho, which doubts the possibility of knowledge of any kind.

    Definition 2 is someone who doubts the validity of knowledge claims in a particular area of inquiry. This includes, but is not confined to the natural sciences.

    Definition 2.1 “one who maintains a doubting attitude with reference to a particular question or statement“. The OED has this as the popular definition.

    Definition 3 is one who doubts the truth of Christianity. An older definition, not applicable here.

    Definition 4 is one who is seeking the truth. That is “an inquirer who has not arrived at definite convictions“. This is only occasionally used, at least in the late 20th century.

    None of these definitions are anything like Mr Crawford’s. I would suggest that his definition shifts the onus from scientists demonstrating their competency by saying something meaningful about the real world, to an Orwellian “refinement” of the language, so objectors cannot articulate that the whole climate thing is rubbish. Semantics are for CAGW believers, to help them avoid recognizing that the real world contradicts the alarmist theory.


  46. Interesting, for a short while I wondered if CC was Len in a stupid suit.


  47. “material from obviously biased sources”

    The sources cited here are the Guardian, the BBC, the Met Office, the journal Nature and Chris Crawford’s beloved IPCC. I missed this hilarious mega-LOL until this morning.

    Well done Brad, you had us fooled!


  48. If CC is Brad, Robin Guenier won’t be too pleased, I imagine. It’s bad enough wasting time arguing against real AGW fanatics, but there’s always the possibility that you might achieve some progress, however minor.


  49. CC might be a parody construct but I doubt it.
    The arguments used in CC’s post are rather banal, superficial and childish- typical of most climate reactionaries.
    Has the CC character posted over time elsewhere?
    But enough of neverwuzzer trolls.


  50. Now come on, be reasonable folks!

    Given the choice between the temperature 100 years ago measured by a £10 thermometer and guessed by a £100,000,000 computer game climate model, which would YOU believe?

    You lot will never make the grade as “climate scientists”!


  51. Crawford gets some Pielke credit for engaging with those he disagrees with. But not much. He does not engage with respect, to listen to what is said, but solely with the objective of supporting his Manichean thesis – namely that it’s absolute truth and virtue on his side versus fools and knaves on ours. He thinks ‘denialist’ is an objective term!

    Some of the responses he provokes are unfortunate but inevitable. As he finds himself unexpectedly outgunned on the arguments, he has no option but to declare a totally implausible victory and withdraw. A clear illustration of Pielke’s thesis!


  52. Since I chose to cut to the chase with CC…or whoever he is…I guess I am being gently referenced.
    Having seen much more sophisticated versions of CC, I really have little patience in their shallow games. And I have zero interest in their arrogant bigoted expectations. I’d rather go to the bottom line up front and point out what their position actually is:
    empty, derivative, intellectually bigoted, than play along with them.

    Liked by 1 person

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