Deliberately Or Otherwise, Dame Julia Slingo Has Misled The Public

  • Date: 16/02/14
  • Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill

Almost every scientist who has said anything about the floods has said that there is no way to link them to global warming – Brian Hoskins was fairly clear about this on the Today programme.

The latest is Matt Collins from the University of Exeter, quoted in the Mail on Sunday:

Professor Collins told The Mail on Sunday: ‘There is no evidence that global warming can cause the jet stream to get stuck in the way it has this winter. If this is due to climate change, it is outside our knowledge.’

Only Julia Slingo has tried the opposite tack. When asked about a possible link she said

…all the evidence suggests that climate change has a role to play’

This was sneaky. She was asked whether the floods – the ones we are seeing now – are related to climate change. Her answer related to hypothetical future climates.

In the circumstances, her words were very misleading and have been the cause of a considerable media frenzy. To avoid giving the impression that that this was deliberate, she should now make a clear statement of agreement with Prof Collins and explain that her words only related to computer model predictions of future climates.

To do otherwise would look very bad.

Bishop Hill, 16 February 2014