What a difference a year makes at the Met Office. In just 13 months, the 15-year temperature warming trend in the U.K. has doubled to a helpful 0.2°C. In the process it changes an inconvenient flat-lining trend, with warming of around 0.1°C, to the more Net Zero-friendly hike of nearly 0.2°C. No doubt the Met Office has a simple explanation for this sensational statistical discovery. But as we have seen in past articles, these uplifts are common at the Met Office in both the national and global record.
First we can see the U.K. trend as published in a Daily Sceptic article early last year. Note the developing plateau over the last 15 years.
Just 13 months later, any pause has disappeared to be replaced with a considerable rise. Suddenly a near plateau over 15 years has been turned into a substantial long-term trend increase.
Last year was hot, but only 0.15°C warmer than 2014 which is shown on the two graphs above, and 2014 did not prevent the near-plateau forming. Statistically, a trendline for an uptrend would usually be based on low points rather than high points, to avoid potentially anomalous highs like 2022 radically altering the trend. The Met Office might be using some smoothing effect to produce the sudden jump in the trendline – it’s hard to tell as the forecaster doesn’t explain how it calculates its trendline anywhere that I could find. But even so, one year’s temperature should not radically alter the whole trend for the past 15 years, as has happened here.
Another explanation might lie in the recent adjustments made by the Met Office to the Central England Temperature, the oldest continuous surface temperature collection dating back to around 1660. The diligent climate journalist Paul Homewood discovered that for most of the record up to 1970, the adjustments were small and have no obvious pattern. There are then notable downward adjustments from 1970 to 2003, and from that date the temperatures have been adjusted markedly upwards.
Last Sunday, Richard Tice discussed the frequent Met Office record tampering with Andrew Montford from Net Zero Watch on his Sunday Talk TV show. Tice has taken a keen interest in the subject, and the issue is starting to attract public concern. As we have noted in past articles, the Met Office is being questioned on a number of fronts. Last year it claimed a U.K. heat record of 40.3°C half way down the runway at RAF Coningsby. A subsequent Freedom of Information request by the Daily Sceptic identified at least three Typhoon fighter jets using the runway at or around the time of the 60-second record. Many of the Met Office’s recording devices are sited at British airports, with records often declared at Heathrow and RAF Northolt. As we have noted, airports are one of the least suitable sites imaginable for collecting long-term information about climate temperature trends.
Another recent FOI request from Paul Homewood made the shocking discovery that the Met Office will use data and declare records from sites labelled class 4 by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). This class comes with an error estimate of up to 2°C from the WMO, although the Met Office calls it an “acceptable” rating. It is of course completely unacceptable. It is next to the lowest rating class 5 which comes with a 5°C error estimate. Homewood declared himself “lost for words” that the Met Office was happy to use a class 4 site, “even though that class is next to junk status”.
All of these non-climatic corruptions along with adjustments, mostly up for recent data and down for historical figures, are fed into a dataset that tries to estimate a global temperature. Again, as we have seen in past articles, removing inconvenient temperature pauses on a retrospective basis is a common occurrence. Over the last 10 years, the Met Office has added around 30% of extra heating from around 2000 in its HadCRUT global record. The move from version 3 to HadCRUT4 in 2013 added about 15% with a similar 2020 rise pumped into version 5. These were significant increases, and they wiped out the pause from around 2000-2012, a hiatus the Met Office wrote about in a 2013 paper titled ‘The recent pause in global warming‘.
The graph above tracks the final demise of the pause from HadCRUT4 to HadCRUT5. The pause is still slightly evident in the earlier version, but finding an additional 0.1°C of heat finally airbrushed it from the official record. Along with the earlier addition of 0.1°C, it took 0.2°C of warming to finally kick it into touch. This significant warming, most welcomed of course in political Net Zero circles as fuel for their narrative, was also enhanced by the cooling of about 0.1°C applied before 1974. Of course, fans of the pause can still view it in the accurate satellite record, along with the current pause of almost nine years.
Announcing the fifth revision, the Met Office said HadCRUT5 was now “in line” with other datasets. True, they are all at it with huge retrospective adjustments made at NASA and the U.S. weather service. All eyes are now on the expected El Niño natural oscillation which it is hoped will bring a little climatic heat into the record, perhaps alleviating any need to keep cancelling the chilly temperatures and pesky pauses of the recent past.
Chris Morrison is the Daily Sceptic’s Environment Editor.