Met Office’s Climate Model ‘Is Exaggerating Warming Effect’
The Met Office method of predicting climate change contains flaws that cause it to overestimate the warming Britain will experience, according to a think-tank that opposes urgent emission cuts.
As a result, large sums are being wasted on preparing UK infrastructure for a warmer climate, such as changing the standard for road surfaces to cope with hotter summers, a report by the Global Warming Policy Foundation claims.
The Met Office defended its computer model and said that the report merely showed that a different method of predicting temperature increases could produce a different result.
Lord Lawson of Blaby, the former Conservative Chancellor who is chairman of the foundation, called for an independent review of the Met Office model.
He said: “The Government’s policy of abandoning cheap conventional energy and moving to expensive (and unreliable) renewable energy has always been of dubious merit. The fact that it now emerges this policy has been based on projections by a computer model which has been found to be fatally flawed means that an independent expert review of the model and its projections is both essential and urgent.”
The report, based on research by Nic Lewis, author of several peer-reviewed papers on climate change published in academic journals, says the Met Office “estimate of long-term warming is approximately double the value suggested by several recent estimates based on observations of the real climate”. It says the flaws in the highly complex model are linked to assumptions made about the effects of low-level clouds and pollution on the climate.
The conflict between computer model predictions and actual measurements of the temperature is being discussed this week in Stockholm by climate scientists and government officials from around the world. They are finalising the Summary for Policymakers by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), due to be published on Friday. The summary is expected to include an admission that there are weaknesses in the results from computer models which appear at odds with the slowdown in the rate of global warming since 1998. [...]
The Met Office was unable to say yesterday how long the 15-year apparent pause in global warming would have to continue before it accepted its model was flawed.
A spokesman said: “No date has been set at which point you’d say the models are wrong. Short-term fluctuations in global temperature do not invalidate models, or determine timelines for their development.