BBC’s Latest Heatwave Lies

By Paul Homewood

 

h/t Philip Bratby

 

 

The BBC are happy to trumpet the latest misleading propaganda from the Met Office:

 

image

Climate change has significantly boosted the chances of having summer heatwaves in the UK.

A Met Office study says that the record-breaking heat seen in 2018 was made about 30 times more likely because of emissions from human activity.

Without warming the odds of a UK heatwave in any given year were less than half a percent.

But a changing climate means this has risen to 12%, or about once every eight years.

The blazing summer of 2018 was the joint warmest for the UK.

It tied with 1976, 2003 and 2006 for being the highest since records began in 1910.

The steep temperatures that sustained across most parts of the UK, peaked on July 27 when 35.6C was recorded at Felsham in Suffolk.

Now researchers have analysed the observed data using climate models that can simulate the world with or without the impact of fossil fuel emissions.

Announcing their findings at global climate talks in Katowice, Poland, UK Met Office researchers said that the impact of global warming on the hot summer were significant.

"Climate change has made the heatwave we had this summer much more likely, about 30 times more likely than it would have been had we not changed our climate through our emissions of greenhouse gases," said Prof Peter Stott, from the Met Office who carried out the analysis.

"If we look back over many centuries, we can see that the summer like 2018 was a very rare event before the industrial revolution when we started pumping out greenhouse gases into the atmosphere."

The researchers say that in a world without warming the chances of having a heatwave are around 0.4% every year. Climate change has tipped the odds significantly to around 12% every year. The historical record, they argue, strengthens their case.

"We have observational information in England going right back to 1659 and if you look at the period before we really started to affect our climate there was only one summer in 1826 that was warmer than 2018, in that whole 200 years of data there was only one year as warm as this, so that really bears out what we are saying.

A previous analysis carried out earlier this year by the World Weather Attribution group estimated that climate change had made the chances of a scorching summer twice as likely. So why does the Met Office study say that the impact of rising temperatures on the chances of such a warm event happening are far higher?

"Our study looked at the chances of having such high temperatures throughout the summer in the UK," said Prof Stott.

"If you focus on a particular few days at the peak of the heatwave over a broader area, as the other study did, then the chances are lower.

"But whichever way you look at it, there’s a very clear fingerprint of human activity on the atmosphere."

A number of recent studies have underlined the scale of the impacts that the burning of fossil fuels are having on the climate. Concentrations of carbon emissions reached a new record high this year according to a study from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Just yesterday, the Global Carbon Project showed that CO2 emissions in 2018 were projected to rise almost 3%, much to the concern of researchers.

While some people might argue that having very hot summers in the UK around once every eight years would be a good thing, Prof Stott said it was not a positive development.

"For many elderly vulnerable people this summer was not good news" he told BBC News.

"It’s the impacts on health, on agriculture, on transport, there are a lot of negative effects that we are just not used to."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-46462014 

 

 

Stott wrongly conflates (deliberately?) “average summer temperatures” with “heatwaves”.

If we look at the former, we see that average summer temperatures have risen in the last few decades, and that the summers of 1976, 2003, 2006 and 2018 were hotter than previous summers since 1910.

UK Mean temperature - Summer

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/summaries/actualmonthly

 

Equally we find that the coldest winters are not as cold now as they used to be.

UK Mean temperature - Winter

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/summaries/actualmonthly

 

But high temperatures averaged over summer as a whole are not the same as “heatwaves”.

This is how the Met Office themselves define heatwaves:

A heatwave is an extended period of hot weather relative to the expected conditions of the area at that time of year.

What is a heatwave?

A heatwave refers to a prolonged period of hot weather, which may be accompanied by high humidity. The World Meteorological Organization guidance around the definition of a heatwave is “A marked unusual hot weather (Max, Min and daily average) over a region persisting at least two consecutive days during the hot period of the year based on local climatological conditions, with thermal conditions recorded above given thresholds.” They are common in the northern and southern hemisphere during summer, but classification and impacts vary globally.

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/learning/temperature/heatwave

 

In other words, a heatwave is a period of unusually hot weather, not the summer as a whole.

The concept of local climatological conditions is also an extremely important one. A temperature that would be regarded as “heatwave” in one place may be normal in another. Heatwaves consequently are not defined absolutely, but relatively.

NHS England recognise this in their Heatwave Planning. Heatwave warnings are triggered, for instance, when temperatures reach 28C in the North East, but have to reach 32C in London.

The reason is simple – people who live in London are more used to higher temperatures than those in colder regions:

image

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/heatwave-plan-for-england

As average summer temperatures have increased since the 1980s, the definition of “unusually hot weather” has also got hotter. It is therefore incorrect to say that the chances of having a heatwave are around 0.4% every year. Climate change has tipped the odds significantly to around 12% every year.

The most dishonest part of the BBC article is the implication that, without climate change, the odds of having a heatwave would be 0.4%. But even in a cooler climate, this summer would still have been extremely hot, albeit not quite as hot.

I dare say that the good folk of Durham (av summer temp this year of 16.2C) regarded their summer heatwave in just the same way as the people of Oxford did (av temp 18.7C). In fact, the climatological average summer temperature for Oxford is 17.0C, higher than this year’s “heatwave” in Durham!

Even though the average summer temperature was record equalling this year, that tells us nothing about heatwaves. In fact, when we look at CET daily max temperatures, we find that there was only one solitary day over 30C this summer. Indeed there have only been three since 2006.

Such intense heat has been much more frequent in the past:

image

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/index.html

 

 

MWP and all that

In addition to the above misdirection Stott makes three claims, which need to be challenged.

1) We have observational information in England going right back to 1659 and if you look at the period before we really started to affect our climate there was only one summer in 1826 that was warmer than 2018, in that whole 200 years of data there was only one year as warm as this, so that really bears out what we are saying…..

But whichever way you look at it, there’s a very clear fingerprint of human activity on the atmosphere

He knows full well that the CET started at the depths of the Little Ice Age, and that summers were much warmer previously in the Middle Ages. HH Lamb estimated that summer temperatures then were between 0.7 and 1.0C warmer than the 20thC average in England.

Stott has no basis at all for his claim, unless he can show why natural changes are not responsible.

2) While some people might argue that having very hot summers in the UK around once every eight years would be a good thing, Prof Stott said it was not a positive development.

"For many elderly vulnerable people this summer was not good news" he told BBC News.

"It’s the impacts on health, on agriculture, on transport, there are a lot of negative effects that we are just not used to."

In fact, ONS data shows that death rates have been perfectly normal this summer, something Stott evidently did not bother to check!

e27bfa5a_thumb

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2018/12/04/excess-winter-deaths-highest-since-1976/

But even more dishonestly, he totally fails to mention that there are typically around 30,000 excess deaths in the UK during winter.

According to DEFRA, warmer winters could reduce premature deaths by between 3900 and 24000 a year by 2050.

To mention possible health problems from hotter summers without mentioning offsetting, and probably much greater, beneficial effects in winter is deceitful behaviour from a supposedly objective scientist.

3) While some people might argue that having very hot summers in the UK around once every eight years would be a good thing, Prof Stott said it was not a positive development.

"For many elderly vulnerable people this summer was not good news" he told BBC News.

"It’s the impacts on health, on agriculture, on transport, there are a lot of negative effects that we are just not used to."

There is no evidence that agriculture has suffered from the hot weather per se. What has had an effect is the lack of rain.

Naturally the two things, hot weather and lack of rain, tend to go hand in hand, as it is high pressure and sunny days which push temperatures up in summer.

However, the data shows that this summer was not abnormally dry by historical standards, and that summer rainfall trends have been little changed during the last century.

Put simply, whatever the temperature trends are, they have not affected summer rainfall.

UK Rainfall - Summer

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/summaries/actualmonthly

As for agriculture, it is little wonder that the Middle Ages were known as the Golden Age, as historian Brian Fagan wrote in his book, The Little Ice Age:

For five centuries, Europe basked in warm, settled weather, with only the occasional bitter winters, cool summers and memorable storms. Summer after summer passed with long, dreamy days, golden sunlight and bountiful harvests. Compared with what was to follow, these centuries were a climatic golden age.

It is cold, wet summers that farmers really fear.

via NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

https://ift.tt/2BZ9WnP

December 7, 2018 at 02:24PM

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