It has a gigantic supercomputer, 1,500 staff and a £170m-a-year budget. So why does the Met Office get it so wrong? January 3, 2010Posted by honestclimate in Discussions.
Tags: climate change, Climategate, CRU, Global Cooling, global warming, uk met office, University of East Anglia, warmergate
It has a gigantic supercomputer, 1,500 staff and a £170m-a-year budget. So why does the Met Office get it so wrong?
By Richard North
Mail Online, 2nd January 2010
Cold of a variety not seen in over 25 years in a large scale is about to engulf the major energy-consuming areas of the northern hemisphere. The first 15 days of the opening of the New Year will be the coldest, population weighted, north of 30 [degrees] north worldwide in over 25 years.’
That is the chilling (quite literally) verdict of Joe Bastardi, a weather forecaster on the American TV channel AccuWeather.
Yet, while many months ago he and several of his rivals correctly forecast a pre-Christmas freeze, the organisation that told us last year to prepare for a ‘barbecue summer’ was getting it wrong again.
This is our own famous Met Office, which last September confidently predicted a warmer than average winter for Britain. Tell that to Eurostar passengers stuck in the Channel Tunnel for 18 hours before Christmas, the breakdown of their trains blamed on the coldest weather for 15 years.
Not until late November did the Met Office tone down its prediction by saying that there was a ’50 per cent chance’ of a mild winter.
Spinning a coin could have given the same result – not one you would expect from an organisation that spends nearly £170million a year, has 1,500 staff and a team of scientists operating a £30million supercomputer capable of 1,000 billion calculations every second, with a carbon footprint the size of a small town.
Yet even with this brand-new computer in action since last August, on December 10 the Met Office predicted that it was ‘more likely than not that 2010 will be the warmest year in the instrumental record, beating the previous record year which was 1998’. That prediction stands unchanged.
How could the Met Office be so wrong, both about its barbecue summer and the mild winter? And could the answer to that question have anything to do with its remarkable transformation in recent years?
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