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The Excel Hockeystick!

Just when you thought government Covid policy couldn’t get even more bizarre, along comes the Covid Cases Hockeystick courtesy of Excel. Apparently, the 12 billion pound track and trace system (which we’re paying for) uses (wait for it) an Excel spread sheet to store data on positive tests. Apparently, nearly 16,000 positive test results got left off because the maximum number of columns on the spreadsheet was exceeded and they didn’t get uploaded! So they’ve just added them on and now our cases graph looks like this:

Like, wow, that’s now a genuine bonafide Mann Hockeystick if ever I saw one! At this rate, they’ll get to 50k ‘infections’ a day by mid October no problem and then they can lock us all down at Level 3 forever. But seriously, are we supposed to believe that this graph bears any relation whatsoever to the supposed rate of spread of live infections of SARS-CoV-2 in the community? That in 2 weeks time, given that so few people are immune to the virus, this will translate into a very sharp peak in deaths? I guess it might if they store hospital death data on Excel too . . . . .

Even with all the ‘missed’ cases added on and graphed by specimen date though, the specimen date data doesn’t look quite so dramatic and scary:

Bear in mind that 250k tests a day are being done at the moment and, contrary to Hancock’s lies, they are randomly targeting asymptomatic people. These positive tests are not being generated from a majority of people who are displaying definite clinical symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection. This would explain why deaths are still at a very low level and are likely to remain that way – unless the government finds a ‘fix’ for the mortality data that is.

Even with the ‘lost and found’ data added back in, Whitty and Vallance’s exponential growth graph is still looking highly unlikely:

‘Our NHS’ Commits To Net Zero Carbon: Everybody Clap

NHS becomes the world’s first national health system to commit to become ‘carbon net zero’, backed by clear deliverables and milestones

You would think at a time of national crisis, with hospitals expecting to be overflowing with Covid-19 patients any time soon, following Bill and Ben, the Pol Pot Men’s (not) predicted ‘exponential’ rise in cases to 50k a day by mid October, the NHS would have other things on its mind at the moment – like the health of the nation for instance. But it seems they have ample time to pontificate about going green.

The NHS has today adopted a multiyear plan to become the world’s first carbon net zero national health system.

The commitment comes amid growing evidence of the health impacts of climate change and air pollution, and aims to save thousands of lives and hospitalisations across the country.

It’s the twin carbon evils of air pollution and climate change, conveniently lumped together for maximum effect. Ban cars, ban nasty wood burning stoves, ban nasty, smelly fossil fuel power stations, in order to make the weather better and to reduce particulate emissions, thereby making us all much healthier (and poorer, less mobile, a lot more miserable, and colder in winter). You know it makes sense – just like ‘protecting the NHS to save lives’ makes sense by kicking old people out of hospital into care homes and creating a backlog of 15 million non-Covid patients waiting for urgent treatment.

The changing climate is leading to more frequent heatwaves and extreme weather events such as flooding, including the potential spread of infectious diseases to the UK. Almost 900 people were killed by last summer’s heatwaves while nearly 18 million patients go to a GP practice in an area that exceeds the World Health Organisation’s air pollution limit.

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “2020 has been dominated by Covid-19 and is the most pressing health emergency facing us. But undoubtedly climate change poses the most profound long-term threat to the health of the nation.

“It is not enough for the NHS to treat the problems caused by air pollution and climate change – from asthma to heart attacks and strokes – we need to play our part in tackling them at source.”

It’s not enough for us to try to treat the problems caused by NHS mismanagement – we need to tackle them at source, by sacking the NHS chief executive for a start, and sacking the army of mid-level NHS managers who it seems have conspired with the government to cover up the gross mismanagement of the Covid-19 crisis and have (and still are) endangering the lives of many patients by keeping many hospitals half empty and not fully functioning.

Of course, the Marxist at the WHO welcomes the news:

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), said: “Cutting carbon emissions is essential to protect health, everywhere in the world. I welcome the leadership of the largest single health system in the world, the National Health Service in England, in committing to be carbon neutral in its own operations by 2040, and to drive emissions reductions in its suppliers and partners. Health is leading the way to a greener, safer planet.”

Dr Watts (I presume) is the big cheese responsible for this net zero 2040 target:

NHS England convened the NHS Net Zero Expert Panel in January following the launch of the Climate Assembly UK, to take and analyse evidence on how the health service can contribute to nationwide carbon reduction efforts.

Led by Dr Nick Watts, Executive Director of The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change, the Panel comprised public health and climate experts as well as patient and staff representatives.

Dr Watts and his team will engage widely to support delivery, with interventions including:

new ways of delivering care at or closer to home, meaning fewer patient journeys to hospitals;

greening the NHS fleet, including working towards road-testing a zero-emissions emergency ambulance by 2022;

reducing waste of consumable products and switching to low-carbon alternatives where possible;

making sure new hospitals and buildings are built to be net-zero emissions, and;

building energy conservation into staff training and education programmes.

Ah, there you have it, you see. Dr Watts’s cunning plan to get to net zero carbon involves getting to net zero patients, by treating most ‘at home’ presumably via video link! It’s already happening, in terms of the ‘new normal’ being ushered in by Covid lockdown hysteria. Millions of patients are being denied face to face consultations and are being telephoned at home or offered consultations via zoom. A million women who would have otherwise been scanned for breast cancer have not, either because they have been scared to seek hospital treatment for fear of catching The Covid Plague or because their routine scans have been cancelled. Just think of all the emissions saved by those women not attending hospital.

Watts again:

“The NHS’s ambition is world-leading, and the first national commitment to deliver a net zero health service. It comes at a time when the UK is preparing to host the UN climate change summit next year, and demonstrates that every part of our societies need to play their part in reducing pollution and responding to climate change.”

There is a fanatical ambition in this country it seems, prevalent in our leaders, that the UK must lead the world into the immiseration of its populace by unilaterally adopting net zero carbon targets. I wonder why that is?

Is it because we are uniquely stupid? It might seem so. I leave you with this net zero grey matter comment from Kay Boycott, CEO of Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation:

Climate change poses a huge threat to lung health; with dangerous levels of pollution and extremes in hot and cold weather which can be deadly for people with lung conditions causing symptoms to flare up and putting lives at risk.

Boris the Red Says That Climate Action Cannot Be A Victim of Covid

But we can apparently, The economy can. Children can. Jobs can. Lives can. Mental health can. Cancer and heart patients etc. can. Civil liberties can. All will be victims as the country faces a further 6 months of socially and economically catastrophic restrictions and Christmas is cancelled – but climate action must go right ahead, according to Chairman Johnson. Are we seeing this now? #ZeroCovid (a madcap, fanatical, destructive policy which the government has now formally adopted, dispelling any notion whatsoever that lockdowns are to ‘save the NHS’ or ‘flatten the curve’) is entry-level #Netzero. #NetZero is lockdown forever.

Lest I’m accused of being a ‘Covid denier’ or conspiracy theorist, let me make it clear: SARS-CoV-2 is a real virus and Covid-19 has killed many thousands of people but, it is nowhere near as serious a threat to public health as the government has made it out to be in the last 6 months, thus justifying unprecedented and extremely damaging measures to supposedly control its spread and ‘save lives’. Don’t believe me? That’s your choice, but it is irrefutable that Whitty and Vallance lied to the public when explaining the so called threat still posed by this disease. One of many, many lies, ommissions and distortions by government and government scientific advisers over the last 6 months, I might add.

I seriously recommend you read the entire thread. It is damning. Anyone who believes in evidence-based science should be horrified by the current turn of events. But we all know of course that the stock-in-trade of climate change ‘science’ is not so much evidence-based science but science-based construction of evidence to fit a prevailing consensus narrative. So the Two Ronnies of Covid Armageddon are not so very different from the Manns and the Hayhoes of Climate Armageddon. All willing to lie in order to promote a doom-laden narrative poorly evidenced in actual science and empirical data.

The tactics employed by the critics of those scientists and sceptics who oppose the official narrative are very similar also. Professor Francois Balloux signed a letter penned by Sunetra Gupta, Carl Heneghan and Karol Sikora, urging the government to reconsider its Covid strategy. He was then promptly accused of being duped into signing what amounts to a supposed ‘right wing conspiracy’ which is lobbying for a supposedly “fringe pseudoscience” ‘herd immunity’ strategy. Heneghan, Gupta and Sikora are artificially classed as a “fringe group of scientists” allied to right wing lobbyists who are in opposition to consensus scientific opinion. Nothing could be further from the truth but the tactic will be nauseatingly familiar to followers of the debate on man-made climate change.

But to return to the subject of lockdowns and how they might be opportunistically being used to prepare the ground for more stringent climate action, there is a wealth of evidence to support that view now, with much talk of a ‘green recovery’, ‘great reset’ etc. plus real action on the ground with government proposing to bring forward the ban on petrol and diesel cars to 2030 and councils busily prioritising cycling at the expense of road traffic, following government ‘social distancing’ and ‘Covid-friendly’ Road Traffic Act amendments.

In point of fact, some people are positively salivating at the prospect of extending the concept of Covid lockdowns to ‘climate lockdowns’:

LONDON (Project Syndicate)—As COVID-19 spread earlier this year, governments introduced lockdowns in order to prevent a public-health emergency from spinning out of control. In the near future, the world may need to resort to lockdowns again—this time to tackle a climate emergency.

Shifting Arctic ice, raging wildfires in western U.S. states and elsewhere, and methane leaks in the North Sea are all warning signs that we are approaching a tipping point on climate change, when protecting the future of civilization will require dramatic interventions.

Now Boris the Red has come right out and said that climate action is basically at the top of the government’s agenda, following its deliberate destruction of the economy and the trashing of civil liberties. Getting ‘back to normal’ is definitely not on the agenda.

The prime minister will tell a meeting hosted by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres that climate action “cannot be another victim of coronavirus”.

He will urge leaders to “look ahead to how we will rebuild” after the pandemic and how to “build back better”.

Mr Johnson is expected to speak to leaders via video link.

His speech at Thursday’s UN Climate Action Roundtable is part of the preparations for a global climate conference the UK is hosting in partnership with Italy in Glasgow in November next year.

“Look ahead to how we will rebuild, and how we can seize the opportunity to build back better,” the prime minister will say.

“Let us be the leaders who secure the very health of the planet for our children, grandchildren and generations to come.”

He says he hopes the UK will serve as “a launch pad for a global green industrial revolution.”

He’s what Delingpole calls a melon: Green on the outside and Red on the inside. He’s definitely not true blue Conservative. I warned of this back in early February, even before he decided to nuke the economy to ‘Save the NHS’. I also pointed out that May – the architect of the regressive, socialist inspired net zero 2050 legislation – wasn’t either.

There’s no hope for the Tories. They have gone mad or they have collectively sold their souls to the Green Globalist Devil and no longer even pretend to govern in the national interest. They need to be consigned to history – fast.

But nobody listened. They voted Tory in their droves six months later and here we are today, with a Communist PM presiding over a broken country telling us that he’s now making climate change the top priority for any ‘recovery’ from the damage his government has inflicted.

The Covid Hockeystick and the Decline of Science

They wheeled in Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber yesterday in order to frighten the British nation once again into accepting hugely damaging restrictions upon their personal, professional and social lives in order to head off a ‘second wave’ which the blond mop-haired lunatic in charge says is ‘incoming’.

It was a cold and calculated exercise in disinformation and government propaganda, light on science, light on data, designed to conceal the actual rather less alarming truth from the public, in favour of painting an apocalyptic picture of Covid doom. Sound familiar? Of course it does. Climate ‘scientists’ and the alarmist main stream media have been doing this for years re. the so called ‘climate crisis’, more recently a task taken over with missionary zeal by Greta ‘How Dare You’ Thunberg and the unwashed, unhinged Stinking Rebellion.

James Delingpole compares the Glum Two’s effort to convince us of imminent Covid catastrophe with Mann’s Hockey Stick. To illustrate the likely growth of ‘cases’ (i.e. positive PCR tests), they came up with this really scary graph, which does look a lot like a hockey stick, but which they insisted was ‘not a prediction’ (knowing full well that the media would take it as exactly that):

Says Delingpole:

Apparently — at least according to Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and Chief Science Adviser Patrick Vallance — if we’re not careful Britain will be in danger of nearly 50,000 new Chinese coronavirus by mid-October.

My suspicion is that — just like the discredited Hockey Stick chart invented by the dodgy professor Michael Mann — it is an artefact that has much more to do with propaganda than honest science.

The Hockey Stick was what is known in colloquial English as ‘bent as a nine bob note’ — or indeed ‘dodgy as fuck’. 

As climate sceptics, we know it all too well and we know the dodgy data and dubious science which went into crafting it, which is why Delingpole says:

It’s the reason why several of the most sceptical voices on Chinese coronavirus — for example, Peter Hitchens in the UK, Marc Morano and Tony Heller in the US, Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones in Australia — also happen to be very outspoken climate sceptics.

For my money though, Whitty and Vallance’s absurd exponential growth graph is more reminiscent of the absurd projections of global temperature increase by 2100 according to the misleadingly named ‘business as usual’ RCP8.5 representative concentration pathway. The analogy is closer in that W & V are probably using some dodgy Ferguson derived epidemiological model to arrive at their ‘not a prediction’; climate scientists use dodgy climate models, dodgy parameterisations of natural processes and dodgy socio-economic models to arrive at their catastrophic ‘not a prediction’ rise in global mean surface temperature:

We’ve had this BS once, with the first lockdown, with absurd modeled projections of 510,000 deaths without mitigation, leading to Johnson shutting down the country for 3 weeks to ‘flatten the curve and save the NHS’, 3 weeks which turned into 6 months with a few reluctant easing of restrictions over the summer. Now we’re back to facing a second punishing 6 months of extra restrictions/lockdown to head off a ‘casedemic catastrophe’ which government boffins assure us will eventually translate into thousands of deaths if we don’t do something urgently. There are very few hospitalisations and deaths at the moment, so the government have had to fabricate the so called ‘incoming’ second wave with reference to what is happening in Spain and France and with reference to a supposedly worrying ‘acceleration’ of ‘cases’ in this country, 90% of which may be actual false positives.

On the subject of France and Spain, here is the actual rise in cases, in both countries, compared to W & V’s projected exponential rise. Spot the difference?

The lack of anything resembling real science and solid data in the Whitty and Vallance presentation is extremely worrying, given that Johnson will almost certainly use it to impose more hugely socially and economically damaging restrictions upon the nation over winter. What on earth happened to evidence-based science? It seems to have been rejected wholesale now for government lies, propaganda, distortion and disinformation. Michael Yeadon, a former professional colleague of Vallance, is bravely standing up for it though:

Pre-Enlightenment science indeed, which is now become post Enlightenment science, post normal science; you might even say Endarkenment science. We are headed into very dangerous territory if this hocus pocus, mumbo jumbo pseudoscience being used to radically alter our societies and erode our fundamntal civil rights is not robustly challenged, right now.

UK Covid Deaths

England Covid Hospitalisations
Cases Per 100k – Updated to September 23rd

Update on Spain. They have switched to a new case diagnostic now which eliminates non-infectious positives by capping the cycle threshold on the PCR test and just look what has happened. Oh dear, the casedemic is running rapidly out of steam. If the UK were to do this, I imagine we would get exactly the same result.

Update: 2 Oct:

Even with the huge increase in testing, even with the refusal to eliminate non-infections being picked up by a cycle threshold set way too high, positive tests are levelling off it appears and the chance of getting anywhere near 50,000 cases per day is virtually zero.

Here’s the ‘inevitable rise in deaths’ following that ‘second wave’:

Even allowing for a lag between being infected and being killed by this virus, it is blatantly obvious that ‘infections’ are not translating into deaths.

Update 3 Oct:

Final update to the Vallance and Whitty Covid casedemic hockeystick. It’s a total bust now and it is clear that it should never have been presented to the public as a plausible projection. Both of them should be sacked for misleading MPs and for deliberately and unnecessarily alarming the public.

Actual Cases vs. Whitty/Vallance Hockeystick

‘Actual’ Climate Scientist Michael Tobis Thinks I Don’t Exist

 

I thought about writing a post on this and then thought, meh, boring. So what if a paranoid scientist thinks I’m a sock puppet for fossil fuel interests? No big deal really. But he’s pushed his paranoid conspiacist ideation  so far, I thought I had better write something, not least because this person is supposedly a representative of the ‘climate science community’. As far as I know, nobody in that community has publicly criticised his bizarre, obsessive behaviour.

It started with an innocent tweet:

This sparked off a 2 day twitter stream (currently ongoing) so bizarre, I can scarcely believe it. Tobis apparently took great offence at my quote tweet.

For my sins, I suddenly found my identity being questioned:

Quite a few people got involved with the argument, mainly to suggest that Tobis was going over the top. He fired off a post on his own blog on the incident here. I quote one of his comments from that post:

“Let me be very plain. The profile picture is me.”

This carries precisely no information, as it is exactly what a sock puppet would say.

“So I will leave you with your somewhat obsessive ‘concerns’ and I will promise not to quote tweet you again.”

It’s not an obsession. It’s a hunch developed when I first encountered you yesterday. You have not convinced me that my hunch is incorrect, though it would be easy to do so. I would love to hear from someone who has met you to assuage my concerns.

Again, in the event that what you say is true, I sincerely apologise.

If it ain’t, though, if you’re not this one honest (if rather misguided) person but a dishonest person trying to be half a dozen or so trying to stoke the artificial anger at climate science, for whatever reason, I don’t have anything to apologise for.

I don’t propose to follow Jaime Jessop around trying to claim that the identity is a sock puppet. So if you’re real, please rest easy; I don’t intend to harass you, and I am genuinely sorry for the misunderstanding.

But *if* you’re not Jaime Jessop, I make no such promise. I will pay no more mind to Jaime Jessop, specifically, in future than I have in the past, as long as Jaime Jessop also leaves me alone. However, I’m now interested to find similar accounts with other identities attached, identities which the actual you (per hypothesis) might be using to encourage an environment which unfairly distrusts climate scientists.

You could save me the trouble if you like, just by talking to me for even a minute. But apparently you don’t want to do that. Yet you’ve already spent much more than a minute at this. I find this interesting.

To me, that is a downright weird comment for anybody to come out with, let alone a supposedly sober, rational scientist. Shub agreed:

Here’s a selection of Tobis’ other crazy comments on Twitter:

Note how they get increasingly suspicious and conspiratorial, like he’s feeding on his own feverish imaginings. Apparently, he’s got previous form. He accused at least one other person, Brandon Shollenberger of being a sock puppet too:

But he doesn’t seem to have obsessively followed up his accusations in anything like the manner which he has done with me.

I’m rather torn between being angry, bemused, unamused and highly amused that anybody would have the audacity to doubt my existence and question my honesty in such a blatant and passively aggressive way. I don’t intend to put him out of his misery any time soon by publicy acceding to his demands, but I will say that my existence is not privately in question, whereas Tobis’ state of mind does seem to be.

What did El Nino 2015 Contribute to the ‘Hottest Year Ever’?

There’s been quite a lot of excitement in the media and on Twitter following announcements by NASA and the Met Office that 2015 was the hottest year ever recorded ‘by some measure’. In particular, the debate has centred around how much El Nino contributed to the ‘record hot year’ (not evident at all in the lower troposphere satellite data) and how much man-made global warming was responsible. Given that global mean temperatures usually show a delay of several months after El Nino peaks, it seems reasonable to suppose that 2016 will peak higher than 2015.

So, we might expect that in 2015 the contribution from El Nino would be modest. The satellite data confirms this: we see temperatures rising steadily throughout the year but failing to exceed 2010 or 1998.

msu20rss20globalmonthlytempsince197920with37monthrunningaverage20with201505reference

It is very likely that RSS/UAH will continue to rise sharply in the first few months of 2016. The million dollar question of course is: will 2016 exceed 1998 to become the hottest year in the satellite data series? The multi-million dollar question is: will El Nino 2015/16 ‘step up’ global mean temperatures to a new level or will the inevitable follow-on La Nina be very deep and ‘step down’ global temperatures? For it should be obvious by now that ENSO is the vehicle whereby global warming/cooling is expressed – not the driver of warming/cooling, I hasten to add.

So anyway, logic tells us that, for 2015 at least, El Nino might only have contributed to a modest rise in GMST. Peter Stott of the Met Office says that El Nino contributed a “small amount on top”, although it’s not clear if this ‘small amount’ is to the 1C total rise since pre-industrial times or just to the spike in temperatures that the surface datasets show for 2015. I think most sceptics are interested in what the contribution might be just to the ‘spurt’ in global temperatures between 2014 and 2015, which, according to the Met Office, amounted to 0.18C. According to NOAA, the increase was a staggering 0.29C and NASA put the figure slightly less at 0.23C. Of course, we can rely upon that all-knowing Oracle of Global Warming, the Guardian to give us the lowdown on this vital question:

“A strong El Niño event is peaking at the moment, putting the “icing on the cake” of high global temperatures. El Niño is a natural cycle of warming in the Pacific Ocean which has a global impact on weather. But scientists are clear that the vast majority of the warming seen in 2015 was due to the emissions from human activity.

“Even without an El Niño, this would have been the warmest year on record,” said Prof Gavin Schmidt, director at Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He said he expected the long trend of rising global temperatures to continue because its principal cause – fossil fuel burning – was also continuing.

“It is clear that human influence is driving our climate into uncharted territory,” said Prof Phil Jones, from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, which produces the temperature record – called HadCRUT4 – with the Met Office.”

I agree. Even without El Nino, 2015 would probably have been a record breaking year in the surface datasets. What I am more sceptical about is whether this contribution to record breaking warmth has come from man-made global warming or man-made temperature adjustments (courtesy of Karl et al for NASA/NOAA)!

Let us abandon the flights of fancy of the Guardian and Gavin and come back down to earth with the realisation that ENSO does contribute to global warming. the Met Office tells us that El Nino 1997/98 elevated global mean temperatures by ‘at least 0.2C’:

“The major El Niño of 1997/98 elevated the global mean surface temperature by at least 0.2C. Since then the increase in global mean surface temperatures has been small and this has been linked in part to decadal changes in the circulation of the Pacific Ocean”.

What is important to note is that this was after the La Nina which followed. 0.2C was a measure of how much ENSO ‘stepped up’ global temperatures. This is very different from what sceptics and AGW convinced scientists are squabbling about on Twitter, i.e. the transient contribution to GMST from an El Nino happening now. In 2016 the transient contribution to GMST and LT temperatures may be very significant – much more than a few tenths of a degree perhaps – but the question is how will the global climate system setlle down after El Nino/La Nina? That is the really interesting question. Will we see a new ‘high’ established, from which point presumably global warming will take off again in earnest, or will we indeed witness global cooling in late 2016, on into 2017/18?

Correction:

According to GWPF:

Nasa says that 2015 was 0.13°C+/-0.10°C above 2014. The UK Met Office said that 2015 was 0.18°C +/- 0.10°C above 2014. Noaa says 2015 was 0.16°C+/-0.09°C warmer than the previous record which was 2014.”

 

Final Word on the ‘Unprecedented’ Rainfall of December 2015

So, it’s official, December 2015 was the ‘wettest ever’ [smallprint: ‘in the UK record going back to 1910’]. Much fanfare at the Met Office, Guardian, Indie etc., blah, blah, blah. It beat 1929 to the top spot and ‘though El Nino undoubtedly played a part, such events are predicted to become more common as climate change (TM) progresses because of simple physics’ – the well worn statement of implicit attribution combined with appropriate caveat and unassailable ‘scientific’ logic is now very boringly familiar to most.

uk

So, yes indeed it was the wettest December in the UK since 1910, but is there a trend? Hardly, looking at the graph above. Decembers were wetter in the early 20th century, then they got drier and from the 1970’s they’ve got progressively wetter again – but not significantly wetter than they were in 1910 (one record does not a significant rising trend make). If we look at each country of the UK, we see in fact that England has in fact become drier in Dec since 1910:

england

Whereas Scotland shows the only really significant increase in precipitation in December:

scotland

The EWP record which goes back to 1766 and which has not been referenced by the Met Office and alarmist press as far as I know, shows that December 2015 wasn’t even a contender for a top spot, exceeded in the record by numerous other years and coming nowhere near the record set in 1876.

ts_ewp_decemberThus we must conclude that, for whatever reason, the ravages of climate change have not been visited upon the Sassenachs!

But I hear them say in climate alarmist land: “Ah yes, but the rainfall intensity in the north and Scotland was unprecedented!” followed by, “We expect this due to climate change and simple physics” . . . blah, blah, blah, etc. etc. etc. Well, OK, yes, it seems that records were set at individual weather stations and the biggie was at Honister Pass – 341.4mm of rain in a 24 hour period (a new UK record). But all may not be as it seems. You see, a ‘day’ of rainfall has traditionally been measured from 0900 GMT to 0900 GMT. I quote:

“The 09-09 GMT record is important because from a historical context much of the data is daily data recorded over the standard 09-09GMT period.”

[http://www.itv.com/news/border/2015-12-07/storm-desmond-breaks-uk-rainfall-record/]

So even though Dec 2015 set a record for most intense rainfall in any 24 hour period (a relatively recent method of measuring rainfall), it failed to set any records for a traditional rainfall day. The records still stand as follows:

Highest 24-hour rainfall totals for a rainfall day (0900-0900 GMT)

Country Rainfall (mm) Date Location
England 279 18 July 1955 Martinstown (Dorset)
Scotland 238 17 January 1974 Sloy Main Adit (Argyll & Bute)
Wales 211 11 November 1929 Lluest Wen Reservoir (Mid Glamorgan)
Northern Ireland 159 31 October 1968 Tollymore Forest (County Down)

All of them, you will note, set 1974 or earlier, gong back to 1929. 2015 did manage to set the record for rainfall in a traditional 2 day period though, which now stands at 405.0 mm measured at Thirlmere, Cumbria. This was the only recognised traditional short period rainfall record set in December 2015. If we look at periods shorter than 24 hours, Dec 2015 doesn’t even get a look in.

UK rainfall records for short durations

Minutes Rainfall (mm) Date Location
Highest 5-minute total 32* 10 August 1893 Preston (Lancashire)
Highest 30-minute total 80 26 June 1953 Eskdalemuir (Dumfries & Galloway)
Highest 60-minute total 92 12 July 1901 Maidenhead (Berkshire)
Highest 90-minute total 117 8 August 1967 Dunsop Valley (Lancashire)
Highest 120-minute total 193# 19 May 1989 Walshaw Dean Lodge (West Yorkshire)
Highest 120-minute total 155# 11 June 1956 Hewenden Reservoir (West Yorkshire)
Highest 155-minute total 169 14 August 1975 Hampstead (Greater London)
Highest 180-minute total 178 7 October 1960 Horncastle (Lincolnshire)

* Approximate value.

# Reservations about Walshaw value, Hewenden value is next highest accepted value.

So much for the expected increase in intense rainfall. You will note that most of the shorter period records are set in summer, as one would expect with strong convective heating. But even so, the most recent year in which an intense short period rainfall record was set is 1989. The rest go way back as early as 1893.

So overall, we’re not seeing evidence of December being particularly exceptional in terms of monthly totals or shorter period more intense downpours. Not exactly what the alarmists want the world to hear.

Betting on 2016

Mark Boslough recently issued a ‘challenge’ to ‘deniers’ to bet against him that 2016 would not be a record breaking year in the GISS dataset, hotter even than 2015, the current ‘hottest year ever’. He seems to think that this single event will confirm that “global warming is real”. Strange man. Anyway, with a very strong El Nino (now peaked), it is virtually certain that global temperatures will peak (naturally) in 2016. Furthermore, with the GISS incorporating NOAA’s ‘pause-busting’ SST data, it is highly unlikely that 2016 will not turn out to be another ‘hottest year ever’. So no sceptic worth their salt is going to take that sucker bet.

A more interesting bet would be whether 2016 will exceed the warmth of the current warmest year (1998) in the RSS and UAH satellite datasets. RSS data for December 2015 is in; anomaly is 0.54, up from 0.43 last month.

rss_ts_channel_tlt_global_land_and_sea_v03_3

RSS Lower Troposphere Global Temperature Anomalies

Mark Boslough wasn’t interested in taking up my offer of betting on this far less certain occurrence – surprise, surprise.

My personal opinion is that it’s entirely possible that 2016 will not turn out to be the warmest year in the satellite data. Even though, in terms of Nino 3.4 SSTs, the 2015 El Nino was more powerful than 1997, Nino 1+2 regions lagged quite a bit behind.

02-weekly-nino-region-evolution

In this respect, the 2015 El Nino, for my money, resembled more a Central Pacific (Modoki) type El Nino than it did the 1997 very powerful canonical El Nino. Note also that Nino 3.4 in 2015 started nearly 1 degree higher than 1997, courtesy of the strong Pacific warming in 2014. The Met Office has a very interesting analysis of El Nino events, in which they say:

“The major El Niño of 1997/98 elevated the global mean surface temperature by at least 0.2C. Since then the increase in global mean surface temperatures has been small and this has been linked in part to decadal changes in the circulation of the Pacific Ocean. It has also been noted recently that CP El Niño events do not have the same impact on global mean surface temperatures as EP El Niño events; global mean surface temperatures are, typically, anomalously warm during and after EP events, but not in CP or mixed CP/EP events. It is also the case that since 1998, El Niño has been dominated by CP events, and this recent paper suggests that since the late 19th century, periods of slowdown in the rate of global mean surface warming typically contain only CP El Niño events, and no EP events”.

It would not surprise me therefore if 2016 fails to exceed 1998 as the warmest year recorded in the satellite data series. What of 2016 and beyond? There are three possibilities: the expected spike in global temperatures may initiate a ‘step up’ (like 1998 did), it may not affect global temperatures significantly, in which case the current Pause will continue, or it may initiate a ‘step down’ in global temperature via a very deep subsequent La Nina cooling. If we’re betting, my money is on the latter in late 2016/early 2017. If we get another ‘step up’ in global LT temperatures, I will be the first to admit that the anthropogenic CO2 warming theory may have something going for it, because many current climate indicators (AMO/AMOC/solar) point to imminent cooling.

Update: 05/1/2016

Bob Tisdale has posted an updated graphic to the one above:

nino-region-evolutions

We can see that El Nino has clearly peaked in all regions. Nino 1+2 regions peaked considerably lower and several weeks earlier in 2015 than they did in 1997 and they are now declining quite rapidly. We shall soon see if this affects any resultant spike in global temperatures in 2016.

More on the ‘Unprecedented’ Rainfall Causing UK Flooding

In response to me linking to my latest blog post on Twitter, BBC weatherman and meteorologist Simon King pointed me to this graph of UK annual rainfall  since 1910 which shows a significant increase in trend since 1980 – a point which he made when being interviewed on BBC FiveLive apparently.

uk

Aside from the fact that the UK series is very much shorter than the EWP which goes back to 1766, there is indeed a marked positive trend in UK annual rainfall, starting around 1973, and exceeding that of 1910. Here is the corresponding graph for England:

england

And for Wales:

wales

Though the same trend exists, it is not very pronounced. It is more pronounced for Northern Ireland:

northern_ireland

It is a lot more pronounced for Scotland:

scotland

Thus, it would appear that the overall increase in annual UK precipitation from 1973 is due in large measure to an increase in rainfall in Scotland, with a lesser contribution from Northern Ireland and only very minor contributions from England and Wales.

Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire are of course in England and the Environment Agency is of course responsible only for flood defences in England. So pointing out that rainfall in the UK has increased significantly, when much of that increase has been in Scotland and Northern Ireland, is not that relevant, particularly when the flooding in England has provoked sharp criticism of England’s freshwater flood preparedness measures as managed (badly, it seems) by the Environment Agency. It is even more irrelevant in that even the UK annual rainfall data shows there has been no really significant increase in Winter precipitation since 1910, the issue at present being winter rainfall causing flooding.

uk1

2014 again stands out but there is very little overall increase in trend since 1910. Given the fact that winter 2015/16 still has 2 more months to go, it may or may not turn out out to be a particularly wet winter overall.

The lesson here (if there is one) is, don’t listen to BBC Radio FiveLive if you want all the facts about current severe flooding and what may be contributing to it.