If you thought all those ugly wind turbines littering the Scottish Highlands and providing so much ‘clean’ energy at times that they have to be switched off would save the misty glens and wild snow-capped peaks from Thermageddon, think again. Experts from the Met Office, University of Edinburgh and Oxford University say that hot, dry summers like 2018 are to become ‘the norm’ by 2050 and will happen every year by the end of the 21st century. So much for ‘clean energy’ then. Just when the Scots were hoping that they had done enough to guarantee long, wet, cold, miserable windswept summers in perpetuity, they learn that all their efforts are in vain. Good news for Aussies though – it means that they don’t need to abandon coal to stop heatwaves and bushfires after all!
The Scottish summer heatwave of 2018 was part of the more extensive early summer heatwave which occurred over northern Europe generally at the time and which was also attributed to climate change in a study which was – to say the least – somewhat unconvincing.
You might be forgiven for thinking that hot, dry Scottish summers doesn’t sound like such a bad idea, but think again. For a start, foreign holiday firms will go out of business as people opt more and more for staycations and avoid jetting off to the Med and other far off exotic places, thereby not belching tons of planet destroying CO2 into the atmosphere . . . . . yep, the authors actually list this as a negative impact!
The researchers say the warm weather led to an increase in “staycations” and boosted sales of garden furniture, fans and ice cream.
But they found there were a series of negative impacts which may have been under-reported at the time. They include:
- Foreign holiday operators and indoor recreation businesses suffered
- Fashion retailers reported a drop in profits due to lower sales of coats and jumpers
- An increase in pests like wasps, jellyfish and mosquitoes
- Lower yields of peas, broccoli, potatoes and cauliflower due to water shortages and pests
- A 30% increase in water demand, putting pressure on the utility company
It’s all because of man-made climate change of course, which is why Boris is banning petrol and diesel cars in 2035 and plans to rip out gas central heating systems across the United Kingdom (assuming Scotland is part of the UK by then). Maybe that will have more success in keeping Scottish summers grim than the windmills have had.
Human influences had made the heatwave more likely, researchers said, adding that their findings indicate the need to start sustainable long-term planning now to deal with heatwaves in Scotland induced by climate change.
Lead researcher Professor Simon Tett, of Edinburgh University’s School of GeoSciences, said: “Despite its cool climate, Scotland must start to prepare now for the impact of high-temperature extremes.
“The bottom line is that heatwaves have become more likely because of human-induced climate change.”
You wouldn’t want to question an expert’s ‘bottom line’ now, would you? Especially when he reveals his bottom in such a trusted and unbiased journalistic medium as the BBC. But, not being overly impressed by neat bums (and smart-arse experts), I thought I’d better just check the actual research paper anyway, on the off chance that not all was as it seemed, fully expecting of course said research paper to present impeccable scientific evidence to back up the claims of its authors and legitimise the BBC’s reporting of the findings of said study.
What I found was . . . . . RCP8.5. What I found was . . . . . . the Met Office’s new ‘state of the art’ ultra high climate sensitivity CMIP6 model HadGEM3-GC3.1. What I found was an unrealistic debunked worst case emissions/concentration scenario being used to drive an unrealistically sensitive climate model in order to make projections of future climate in Scotland and to attribute extreme weather events occurring during summer in that country to man-made climate change. Oh dear. Just when you thought that scientactivists and the climate alarmist media had cleaned up their act and had given up on the scare-stories being generated by the misuse of RCP8.5, amplified in the popular press. Just when you though integrity had finally returned to climate change communication. Just when you thought absolutely nothing of the sort!
The Event Attribution: 2018 Scottish Summer Heatwave
To understand whether high temperatures and temperature extremes are
important for climate change adaptation in Scotland, we place the 2018 heatwave in the context of past, present, and future climate, and provide a rapid but comprehensive impact analysis . . . . .
Anthropogenic climate change since 1850 has made all these high-temperature extremes more likely. Higher risk ratios are found for experiments from the CMIP6-generation global climate model HadGEM3-GA6 compared to those from the very-large ensemble system weather@home . . . . .
To analyse the anthropogenic contribution to the observed temperatures, we use simulations from the HadGEM3-GA6 model, which is the atmospheric component of the Met Office’s Global Environment Model version 6 (HadGEM3-A hereafter; Walters et al., 2017) . . . . . .
To assess projected changes in the likelihood of 2018 temperatures, we use the perturbed parameter ensembles (PPEs) provided by the UK Met Office as part of the UK Climate Projections 2009 and 2018 (UKCP09 and UKCP18, respectively) . . . . . .
The UKCP18 12-member PPE for 1980-2080 is based on the coupled HadGEM-GC3.1 model that uses version 7.1 of the atmospheric model (Murphy et al., 2018; Walters et al., 2019) and assumes emissions following the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5 (Moss et al., 2010). The UKCP09 11-member PPE for 1950-2099 is based on the coupled HadCM3 model (Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, 2008; Murphy et al., 2009) and uses the A1B scenario (Nakicenovic and Swart, 2000; Murphy et al., 2009). A1B lies between RCP4.5 and RCP 8.5 in terms of the anthropogenic radiative forcing since pre-industrial over the twenty first century, and is very close to RCP8.5 until 2050 (Collins et al., 2013) . . . . . .
3.2. How much has anthropogenic forcing changed the risk of extreme temperatures?
We performed an event attribution study using the CMIP6-generation global climate model HadGEM3-A, and compared the results with those from the very large ensemble W@H system (Fig. 2). Both models show that anthropogenic forcings and the ensuing SST warming and sea-ice reductions have made all extreme temperature indices over the NBI more likely (risk ratios >1) at the 90% confidence level over many return times. The magnitude of these risk ratios varies substantially between both models, with the estimates derived from HadGEM3-A consistently higher than those from W@H [Isn’t that amazing!] . . . . . .
Model validation is difficult since the common historical period, for which both W@H data (1986-2017) and HadGEM3-A data (1960-2013) are available, is only 24 years. This is very short, causing uncertainties in the observed distributions of temperature indices to be large. We tentatively conclude, however, that W@H has larger biases than HadGEM3-A, both in the mean (which we correct for) and the tail of the distribution (Fig. 3). This suggests that the higher risk ratios derived from HadGEM3-A might be more realistic than the lower ones from W@H . . . . .
Projections of Future Extreme Summer Weather
3.4. How likely are these temperatures in the future?
We assess the relevance of these impacts for adaptation to future climate change using the UK climate projections UKCP09 and UKCP18 . . . . .
There are substantial differences between the two projection datasets, with UKCP18
consistently showing higher likelihoods than UKCP09 from about 2040 [Again, no surprise there, as UKCP18 ensemble is based on the high sensitivity HadGEM-GC3.1 model] . . . . .
Regardless of dataset and extreme index, the projections show a substantial increase
in the likelihood of 2018 temperatures between the present day and 2050 . . . . . Towards the end of the century, every summer might have extremes as hot as in 2018; for nighttime extremes, this could be reached by 2080 . . . . .
Given the substantial increase in the likelihood of future temperature extremes
similar to the 2018 heatwave (Fig. 4), it would be wrong to suggest that Scotland should ignore extreme temperatures in its adaptation planning . . . . . Furthermore, there are many lessons to be learned from the negative impacts – and the costs of alleviating impacts – to conclude that despite its cool climate, extreme temperatures are important to consider for climate change adaptation in Scotland.
There you have it. RCP8.5 once again being used to frame climate policy, in conjuction with a CMIP6 high sensitivity climate model and the results of the research being communicated to the popular press minus any mention of caveats or uncertainties by the authors concerned or the journalists involved in writing up the story. It’s definitely still ‘business as usual’ for climate alarmism in 2020.
Just as an illustration, Zeke had a post at Carbon Brief on the new CMIP6 models in December last year and he shows this graph of the expected warming under the new SSP scenarios. SSP5-8.5 is roughly equivalent to RCP8.5. You can see that the expected maximum mean warming under the CMIP6 ensemble has increased to 7.4C in 2100. Under CMIP5/RCP8.5 it was 5.8C. That’s a huge jump. HadGEM-GC3.1 has an equilibrium climate sensitivity of 5.5C – near the very top of the range, beaten only by the Canadian model at 5.6C. So projected warming using this model is above seven degrees! No wonder it predicts every Scottish summer to be a scorcher!