Saturday, June 30th 2012, 3:20 PM EDT
Much fun has been had in contrasting the Met Office’s forecasts of our weather during the past three months with what actually transpired. Its prediction on March 26 “slightly favoured drier than average conditions for April-May-June”, with April as the driest month. This forecast, the Met Office assured us, was based on “observations, several numerical models and expert judgment”. What happened, as we know, was that we have had more rain than at any time since records began in 1766, with the wettest April and June in 100 years.
What is timely to recall, however, is the admission made to MPs in March 2010 by Professor Julia Slingo, the Met Office’s chief scientist, that the “numerical models” used by the Met Office to make its short-term weather forecasts are exactly the same as those “we use for our climate prediction work”.
The Met Office’s projections of future climate change are viewed by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change with total reverence. So the £33 million super-computer which failed to predict the wettest April in more than a century is one of those on which the IPCC relies for its predictions of what the weather will be like in 100 years’ time. It is hard to know which has become more discredited in the past two years, the UK Met Office or the IPCC, both of which rest their faith on computer models as dodgy as one of those proverbial nine-bob notes.
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