Global Warming Has Stalled, Met Office Admits

  • Date: 09/01/13
  • John Ingham, Daily Express

The great global warming debate was blown wide open again yesterday when the Met Office predicted cooler than expected temperatures for the next five years. The Met Office, one of the top cheerleaders for the man-made climate change camp, said global temperatures are likely to be lower than it forecast in December 2011.

It blamed this on the “natural variability of the climate system”, notably changes in ocean surface temperatures.But the admission was branded as embarrassing as the notorious Barbecue Summer forecast in 2009 which led to a washout where the smell of charcoal grills was largely absent from British gardens.

Thirteen months ago the Met Office predicted that temperatures for 2012-16 would be 0.54C above average.

But now, after using a new experimental computer model, it predicted that in 2013?17 temperatures will be 0.43 above average.This contrasts with the ­hottest year on record, 1998, which was 0.4C above the long?term average.

Climate sceptics hailed this as proof that global warming has stopped. David ­Whitehouse, of Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation, said: “If the latest Met Office prediction is correct, it will prove to be a lesson in humility.

“It will show that the previous predictions given so confidently as advice to the UK Government and so unquestioningly accepted by the media were wrong and that the so?called sceptics who were derided for questioning them were on the right track.”

His colleague Dr Benny Peiser said: “These figures show that in all likelihood we will have had no warming in the past 20 years.

“That is almost as embarrassing as the Met Office’s ­Barbecue Summer forecast.

“This suggests that the Government’s climate change policies, including wind farms, are a waste of money and based on dodgy advice. Why should we trust Met Office forecasts about the climate for 2050 or 2100 if they get it wrong for the next decade?”

But climate scientists rallied to the Met Office’s defence, emphasising that climate change has to be assessed over decades, not five years.

Oxford University Professor Myles Allen said comparing the forecast for 2013-17 with one exceptionally warm year – 1998 – “is just daft”.

Professor Chris Rapley, Professor of Climate Science at University College London, said: “I despair of the way data such as this is translated as ‘Global warming has stopped’.”

He added: “Even if the global mean temperature were to remain unchanged, if the geographic patterns of temperature and rainfall change, the consequences will still be potentially severe. We only need to look at what is going on in Australia at this very moment.”

Dr Richard Allan, of the University of Reading, said: “Global warming is not ‘at a standstill’ but does seem to have slowed down since 2000 in comparison to the rapid warming of the world since the 70s.”

He added: “Nothing in the Met Office data leads me to think that global warming due to human influence has stopped, or is irrelevant. It hasn’t and it isn’t.”

The Met Office said that each recent decade has been warmer overall than the previous one.

Its chief scientist Julia Slingo said: “This forecast does not alter long-term climate change.

“This and previous forecasts tell us that the Earth will continue to be in a very warm state compared to, say, the Sixties.

“There’s nothing in these forecasts that undermines the long-term climate change ­scenario.”

Daily Express, 9 January 2013