Christopher Booker: This Weather Is Not As Weird As Claimed

  • Date: 16/02/14
  • Christopher Booker, The Sunday Telegraph

The real lesson of this episode is not that we are seeing unprecedented rain but that, across the board, a whole raft of misconceived EU and UK policies have been horribly caught out.

Inevitably, in the wake of all these dramatic storms and floods, the usual suspects, eagerly abetted by the BBC, Channel 4 News and Sky, piled in to claim that the latest “extreme weather events” – coupled with blizzards in 49 of the 50 American states – are clear evidence of man-made global warming.

At their forefront, proclaiming that “all the evidence suggests there is a link to climate change”, was that arch-climate ghoul Dame Julia Slingo, chief scientist at the Met Office: that same Met Office which back in November was predicting that “precipitation” for the three months between December and February was likely “to fall into the driest of our five categories”, and would more likely than not take the form of snow. [...]

All true science, of course, has here been thrown out of the window. There is no rising trend in atmospheric humidity. Put the Arctic and the Antarctic together and there is more polar sea ice today than at any time since satellite records began in 1979. Not even the IPCC predicts a temperature rise of 5 degrees. The latest NASA Grace satellite data on sea levels, which have been modestly rising since we emerged from the Little Ice Age 200 years ago, shows that, on the trend of the past decade, the rise by 2100 would be just 6.7 inches.

For proper evidence-based science these days one has to step outside the hermetically-sealed bubble of warmist group-think and look to that array of expert blogs and websites which provide the data necessary to thinking straight. On the belief that Britain has recently experienced an unprecedented quantity of rain, for instance, look at the analysis of the Met Office’s England Wales rainfall data sets on Paul Homewood’s Not A Lot Of People Know That. This shows no upward trend in our rainfall. Even January’s continual downpours made it only the 16th wettest month since records began in 1766. Even if this month’s rain adds a further 200 millimetres (eight inches) to the December-January figure, the resulting 650mm would still be way short of the 812mm (32 ins) recorded between November 1929 and January 1930.

The real lesson of this episode is not that we are seeing unprecedented rain but that, across the board, a whole raft of misconceived EU and UK policies have been horribly caught out. We now further have an official admission from the Environment Agency that the reason why it so disastrously abandoned dredging of our rivers such as the Thames and those needed to drain floodwater from the Somerset Levels when it took control in 1996 was that absurdly expensive new EU waste management rules made it “uneconomical” to dispose of the silt dredged out of them.

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