Met Office Promises To Review Contentious Wording Of ‘Forecast’ Graph
Met Office promises to review controversial wording of their decadal forecast/hindcast.
Spot The Difference
There has been much discussion in recent days about the new decadal forecast of global temperatures, sneaked out by the UK Met Office on Christmas Eve, and which shows flatlining temperatures instead of the rapidly increasing ones previously forecast.
However, on studying the current forecast (at top), and comparing it with the previous version (below) issued in December 2011, I noticed a bit of jiggery pokery. Have a look and see if you can spot it.
The white curves are previous predictions, as the narrative explains. In the latest version, this line heads downwards from around 2005 to today’s levels. In other words, they seem to be giving the impression that previous predictions anticipated the drop in temperatures in the last couple of years.
Yet look at the Dec 2011 version, and you can see that this is absolutely not what they were predicting then. On the contrary, they were forecasting a significant increase in temperatures throughout the period.
It would appear that the Met have deliberately fabricated a new version of their Dec 2011 forecast, in order to avoid making the original version look too ridiculous.
Is this really what “science” has come down to?
The Met Office responds
From: Daniel Williams <email@example.com>
Sent: Friday, 11 January, 2013 12:45
Subject: Article re Met Office ‘manipulating’ data
Hi GWPF team,
I’ve just been asked by a journalist about an article on your website called ‘Did Met Office manipulate forecast data?’: http://www.thegwpf.org/met-office-manipulate-forecast-data/
It appears to have fundamentally misunderstood what the two graphs are showing.
The red shaded area and the white line in the middle on the 2011 graph (shown bottom in your article) shows hindcasts from the old HadCM3 model - we run the model for previous years to see what it would have predicted and then we see how closely it matches the real-world observations. This gives a measure of the skill of the model. For the 2012 forecast (shown top in your article), we upgraded to the HadGEM3 model, and as explained before, we tested this thoroughly using the hindcast from that model – I’m sure you’ll agree it wouldn’t make sense to give a forecast with one model, and a hindcast using another. What you can actually see from the new shaded red area and white line in the 2012 forecast is that our new model HadGEM3′s hindcast much more closely represents real-world observations – indicating a higher level of skill. So this article from GWPF is really based on the fact that the author has noticed our new model has increased skill.
Please can you make the necessary amendments to this article, given its inaccuracies as outlined above?
We will also be contacting the source of the original story.
Dan Williams Press Officer
Met Office FitzRoy Road Exeter Devon EX1 3PB United Kingdom
From: “Benny Peiser” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Friday, 11 January, 2013 12:53
To: “Williams, Daniel” <email@example.com>
Dear Mr Williams
Thank you for your clarification.
Can I ask whether you intend to correct the text to figure 1 which claims that the white curves are “Previous predictions starting from June 1960, 1965, …, 2005….”
It is this rather misleading language that seems to have triggered the accusation.
With best regards
Director, The Global Warming Policy Foundation
Daniel Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Friday, 11 January, 2013 13:50
To: “Benny Peiser” <email@example.com>
Subject: RE: Article re Met Office ‘manipulating’ data
Thanks for the quick response and update. I’ve passed your comments on to the decadal team and they have said they’ll review the wording as appropriate.
All the best,