Another Daily Mail Fail: Met Office Politely says, “Bugger Off you bloody, blithering Barmpot!”

October 15, 2012

Denial-land saw a bit of a ripple over the weekend with yet another in a long series of Daily Mail Climate fails.
The Mail’s David Rose wrote a piece making, once again, the tired, shopworn, “it’s no longer warming” claim.

The breathless headline caromed around the net – “Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released… and here is the chart to prove it!”
Countless trolls, professional and amateur, fired up their keyboards and tweeted, posted, face booked, and comment-threaded the latest “scientific” results.

Things were going so well, until grownups at the Met Office stepped in and answered the bonehead claim.

UK Met Office:

An article by David Rose appears today in the Mail on Sunday under the title: ‘Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released… and here is the chart to prove it’

It is the second article Mr Rose has written which contains some misleading information, after he wrote an article earlier this year on the same theme – you see our response to that one here.

To address some of the points in the article published today:

Firstly, the Met Office has not issued a report on this issue. We can only assume the article is referring to the completion of work to update the HadCRUT4 global temperature dataset compiled by ourselves and the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit.

We announced that this work was going on in March and it was finished this week. You can see the HadCRUT4 website here.

Secondly, Mr Rose says the Met Office made no comment about its decadal climate predictions. This is because he did not ask us to make a comment about them.

You can see our full response to all of the questions Mr Rose did ask us below:

Hi David,

Here’s a response to your questions. I’ve kept them as concise as possible but the issues you raise require considerable explanation.

Q.1 “First, please confirm that they do indeed reveal no warming trend since 1997.”

The linear trend from August 1997 (in the middle of an exceptionally strong El Nino) to August 2012 (coming at the tail end of a double-dip La Nina) is about 0.03°C/decade, amounting to a temperature increase of 0.05°C over that period, but equally we could calculate the linear trend from 1999, during the subsequent La Nina, and show a more substantial warming.

As we’ve stressed before, choosing a starting or end point on short-term scales can be very misleading. Climate change can only be detected from multi-decadal timescales due to the inherent variability in the climate system. If you use a longer period from HadCRUT4 the trend looks very different. For example, 1979 to 2011 shows 0.16°C/decade (or 0.15°C/decade in the NCDC dataset, 0.16°C/decade in GISS). Looking at successive decades over this period, each decade was warmer than the previous – so the 1990s were warmer than the 1980s, and the 2000s were warmer than both. Eight of the top ten warmest years have occurred in the last decade.

Over the last 140 years global surface temperatures have risen by about 0.8ºC. However, within this record there have been several periods lasting a decade or more during which temperatures have risen very slowly or cooled. The current period of reduced warming is not unprecedented and 15 year long periods are not unusual.

Q.2 “Second, tell me what this says about the models used by the IPCC and others which have predicted a rise of 0.2 degrees celsius per decade for the 21st century. I accept that there will always be periods when a rising gradient may be interrupted. But this flat period has now gone on for about the same time as the 1980 – 1996 warming.”

The models exhibit large variations in the rate of warming from year to year and over a decade, owing to climate variations such as ENSO, the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation and Pacific Decadal Oscillation. So in that sense, such a period is not unexpected. It is not uncommon in the simulations for these periods to last up to 15 years, but longer periods are unlikely.

Q.3 “Finally, do these data suggest that factors other than CO2 – such as multi-decadal oceanic cycles – may exert a greater influence on climate than previously realised?”

We have limited observations on multi-decadal oceanic cycles but we have known for some time that they may act to slow down or accelerate the observed warming trend. In addition, we also know that changes in the surface temperature occur not just due to internal variability, but are also influenced by “external forcings”, such as changes in solar activity, volcanic eruptions or aerosol emissions. Combined, several of these factors could account for some or all of the reduced warming trend seen over the last decade – but this is an area of ongoing research.

———–

The below graph which shows years ranked in order of global temperature was not included in the response to Mr Rose, but is useful in this context as it illustrates the point made above that eight of the warmest years on record have occurred in the past decade.

87 Responses to “Another Daily Mail Fail: Met Office Politely says, “Bugger Off you bloody, blithering Barmpot!””

  1. rayduray Says:

    The Guardian newspaper has its way with the errant fools at the Daily Fail:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/oct/16/daily-mail-global-warming-stopped-wrong

    With charts.

  2. danolner Says:

    rayduray, that’s a great article by Dana – rammed full of the really obvious stuff. It nicely deals with Omnologos’ “they’re saying the same thing” claim:

    ‘The Met Office also explained that Rose is essentially trying to go down the up escalator by focusing on short-term noise while ignoring the long-term trend: “Over the last 140 years global surface temperatures have risen by about 0.8ºC. However, within this record there have been several periods lasting a decade or more during which temperatures have risen very slowly or cooled. The current period of reduced warming is not unprecedented and 15 year long periods are not unusual.” ‘

    Omnologos: this is another of those easy and obvious things, isn’t it? Both parties may agree on the ‘centigrade per decade’ number – this is where you’re saying they agree, right? – while (as that quote from the Met Office says) claiming exactly the opposite thing about its meaning. Which is, some might say, the important point.

    If you’re going to claim this isn’t as obvious as the nose on your face, it’s going to get harder to avoid skeptictmac59’s conclusion: “At this point it should be abundantly clear that Omnologos is just F**king with his detractors for sport. (Some might even call this trolling)”.

    • omnologos Says:

      I can and have provided direct first-hand quotes by the Met Office. You can’t, and have to rely on Nuccitelli’s claims, which at face value both contradict the Met Office line on at least two points, plus appear to rely on the belief that the Met Office people are babbling ignorant hypocrites, unable/unknowledgeable/unwilling to make Dana’s points in place of Dana.

      The rest is illusion and pointless exegesis.

      • rayduray Says:

        You know some people have a talent for deception. You are not one of them.

      • danolner Says:

        “I can and have provided direct first-hand quotes by the Met Office. You can’t and have to rely on Nuccitelli’s claims, which at face value both contradict the Met Office line on at least two points…”

        I did. The bit in speech marks following “the Met Office explained…” is a direct quote from their own page, the one linked to on this page and the Dana article. Go look.

        So at face value the Met Office’s own quote contradicts the Met Office? Are you sure about that?

        • omnologos Says:

          You’re moving goalposts. Martin claimed DM and MO agreed on nothing. I have quoted the MO on what they agree upon.

          Of course MO and Nuccitelli will agree on some other stuff. But we’re back to square one. On whatever DM and MO declare agree, MO and Nuccitelli have to disagree, because Dana is no better or worse than the DM title makers, and just as exaggerating.

          • colmsplace Says:

            omnologos complains of ‘moving goalposts’?

            Every post you’ve made here has been about shifting around on the head of your pin, to illustrate some spurious point. You seem to have no point other than to engage others in a time-wasting game of what-about-ery on what is quotation, and what is statistically significant.

            You also seem, from your website/profile, to be ideologically committed in a certain direction, such that you see AGW /climate change as a plot by socialist or Marxists to defeat the capitalist system. Your whole ‘omnology’ gig is very pretentious, and rather than show ‘what a clever chap I am’ (which is presumably where all you omnologists self diagnose and locate yourselves) says that there is great amount of pomposity and a great shortage of intelligent thought.

            Your omnology is pseudo-philosophy, and pseudo-science. Third raters pretending to have insight.

            Stop already. If you have something serious to say, say it; otherwise play the adolescent games in some other more amenable forum.

  3. danolner Says:

    I’m having way too much fun with this. I have guilt. Anyway – first-up: “You’re moving goalposts. Martin claimed DM and MO agreed on nothing.”

    What Martin actually said was “The DM and MO are agreed on nothing other than…”, so you’ve cherrypicked the quote and changed its meaning. It’s odd that you’d be so brazen to do that in the same comment thread, but there we have it.

    Here’s you: “I am talking about the accuracy of the Daily Mail reporting for this article. And it’ll be mighty hard to claim inaccuracy after the MO has written what they have written.”

    Martin: “What accuracy? The Daily Fail is trying to tell people global warming has stopped (when it hasn’t).”

    For myself: OK, so the Rose and the Met Office agree on the linear trend since 1997. So what? Are we allowed to move on and talk about what it means? Do you claim that Rose and the Met Office agree on its meaning?


  4. […] Another Daily Mail Fail: Met Office Politely says, “Bug­ger Off you bloody, blither­ing Barmpot!… […]

  5. omnologos Says:

    Danolner – you’re not being truthful. Martin’s full quote: “The DM and MO are agreed on nothing – other than how easy it is to misuse and abuse the phrase “statistically significant”.” And that is still wrong. And you have just avoided using it.

    You can discuss “what it means” until the Sun goes planetary nebula for all I care. The point of these comments as far as I am concerned is the original one by Peter. And to the question, has the Met Office politely said to the Daily Mail “Bugger Off you bloody, blithering Barmpot!”? we can safely answer, No.

    The Met Office agreed with the DM on the basics. That’s all one needs to know.

  6. danolner Says:

    Omnoguy, I just wrote a lengthy reply and then realised it was completely pointless. If what you’re saying makes sense in your head, OK, good luck with that. Yes, you’re right, the Met Office agrees with the Daily Mail, Obama agrees with Romney, the sky is green, the sea is lemonade. It’s only you that thinks this. If you have any hope of attempting to persuade others, you are either unwilling to try or incapable of doing so. Obviously, you’re also not able or willing to really accept what anyone says to you or engage constructively, so… again… why can’t I stop typing… help!

    • omnologos Says:

      You are singularly unable to back up any of your claims and keep relying on distortions. I have not said the MO and DM agree in general, I have said they agree on two specific and basic points. Let me know when you come back to reality.

  7. danolner Says:

    Yes, I know. A couple of comments up above I said: “For myself: OK, so the Rose and the Met Office agree on the linear trend since 1997. So what?”

  8. colmsplace Says:

    omnologos is dancing his polka on that pin; what a fine and elegant dancer he is, he is.

    “Every post you’ve made here has been about shifting around on the head of your pin, to illustrate some spurious point. You seem to have no point other than to engage others in a time-wasting game of what-about-ery on what is quotation, and what is statistically significant.”

    Total waste of time, there is no serious engagement with substantial ideas, only with barely visible ephemera of language.

  9. danolner Says:

    Omno, I notice you’re finding time to post on a new thread. Would you mind answering my question: “So Rose and the Met Office agree on the linear trend since 1997. So what?”

    • omnologos Says:

      Sure. I thought it was all clear by now:

      1. Martin is wrong
      2. Dana is wrong
      3. You’re wrong

      Wrong about what? About what the MO and DM agree upon (observations). As for how to interpret those observations, the DM headline was wrong, the Nuccitelli article is wrong, and the MO very very cautious and thereby wholly unjournalistic but very metoffice-y.

      All in all everybody is doing what they are paid for, apart from those among us who don’t earn a thing out of this.

      • Martin Lack Says:

        Obfuscation, obfuscation, obfuscation.

        Rose is claiming the Met Office know global warming has stopped and are trying to pretend otherwise… Whereas the Met Office, Dana, me and many others are trying to get you to admit that a short-term hiatus in warming (of the Earth’s surface) does not overturn 150 years of expectation – now validated by observation – that more CO2 trapping more outgoing longwave radiation would be a net disbenefit to all life on Earth.

        Shall we go back to basics, Maurizio? How many of the following accord with your Popolo della Liberta prejudice?
        1. Global warming is not happening.
        2. Global warming is not man-made.
        3. Global warming is not significant.
        4. Global warming is not necessarily bad.
        5. Global warming is not a problem.
        6. Global warming is not worth fixing.

        • omnologos Says:

          Martin – please clean up that monitor of yours because I have already said several times that the DM headline was wrong but you have not been able to notice.

  10. danolner Says:

    “Wrong about what? About what the MO and DM agree upon (observations).”

    Er… me: “So Rose and the Met Office agree on the linear trend since 1997.” Which is agreeing on the observations isn’t it?

    You: “as far as observations are concerned, the Daily Mail is saying the same thing the Met Office is saying, but the latter is pretending otherwise.”

    So we’re both saying they agree on observations…


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