This extreme weather is a consequence of exhaustive reporting

25 March 2013

11:07 AM

25 March 2013

11:07 AM

Just as a follow up to what I was talking about below. Here’s the government’s chief scientific advisor, Sir John Beddington:

‘Professor Sir John Beddington said that time lags in the climate system meant that accumulations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere now will determine the weather we experience for the next 25 years.

‘Climate change is already manifesting itself in huge variations in the weather, clearly illustrated by the way Britain experienced both drought and extreme rainfall last year, he said.’

That’s from today’s Torygraph. I’m sorry, I just don’t swallow it. I’m perfectly prepared to accept that man-made climate change is a reality. But to tie it to what was, last year, perfectly normal weather is facile and deceiving. I remember when hosepipe bans were a perpetual occurrence of the British spring/summer. And I cannot be alone in remembering successions of wet summers. Records are broken every year because newspapers are highly attuned to finding records to break; as I say, almost every day could be categorised as a ‘record breaker’ by the vast criteria used these days.

Incidentally, it may well be that floods cause more damage today; that’s largely because we’ve concreted over our floodplains. But the whole thing, this extreme weather stuff, is also a consequence of exhaustive reporting, and now with public participation.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.

Show comments
  • Joseph Alan Jones

    I could not agree more. The problem is the hot air from the mouths and arses of the loony lefties. Research is needed to see if the amount of hot disruptive gas is overmuch from the soft brained left, and what should be done to stop it. Corks are a temptation but could well be dangerous.

  • 100cheesey

    Climate change “loads the dice” and makes extreme weather more likely to happen.

  • Swank

    Good article, Rod. Similar has been said below the fold of your blog and also, of course, over on Delingpole’s (Telegraph).

  • OGT

    Have a read of this from 2000 to see just how little the ‘Climate Scientists’ know

  • Robert Taggart

    With so much development over the last two centuries over unsuitable ground – flood plains, hill sides, coast lines – why are folk so surprised when ‘mother nature’ fights back ?
    Climate Change – it be for real – whether it be man made or just man exacerbated !

  • FrankS

    A parallel cause of climate change is extreme gullibility, led by Lord Beddington and his ilk.

  • heracletian

    Records have been broken concerning the reportage of records being broken, it has just been reported.

  • foxoles

    It’s as though the Vostok ice cores (which show that CO2 rises 800 years *after* temps, due to ocean out-gassing) completely passed Sir John by.

    • SkyHunter

      The latest research shows that the lag is an artifact of atmospheric mixing in the firn layer.

  • charlesx

    No Rod, your memory must be playing tricks with you. The record-breaking long hot summer of 1976 that we think we recall from our childhood never happened. Beddington is completely right that our weather variation now is entirely controlled by the fact that the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere has risen from 0.03 to 0.038.

    All climates are equal, but some climates are more equal than others.

  • edlancey

    Climate Change is just another scam dreamt up by Reds to re-distribute taxes from whitey to the third world

  • Curnonsky

    They can predict our weather within a fraction of a degree hundreds of years into the future. But not the weather next week. Science!

    • DougS

      The first law of climastrology is: ‘never make a prediction that might be shown to be wrong within your expected lifetime’.

      Some of them didn’t adhere to this – but I think that they’ve all caught on now!

  • Eddie

    The extreme weather news is a result of the BBC being oop north in Salford these days, where it’s snowy. It’s BBC-centric circle time again…
    Here where we are in the west it’s cold but no snow. Yet the TV tells us everyone in the UK is snowed in (which means they are in BBC buildings and ITV in Manchester).

  • Oedipus Rex

    An intelligent article (is there anything else from Steve Jones?) relating to weather changes and so on is here:

    and without the hysteria and quasi-religious fervour that afflicts most pro or anti AGW barneys.

    • Swank

      Mr O. Rex: ‘hysteria’ aside: somebody’s right on the essential questions. And the other side is wrong on the essential questions. The devil can’t get out of that, as that old ——- Luther once said.

  • DougS

    Try asking Sir John for some evidence of AGW – but don’t hold your breath he doesn’t have any: except name calling, appeal to authority, argument from ignorance, consensus!!!!!, in fact just about every logical fallacy you can think of.

    As for hosepipe bans, you could be forgiven for thinking that they’re actually trying to engineer water shortages – as I understand it – no new reservoirs have been built for about 20 years despite a huge increase in population….why?

    Must have been a real bummer for them in 2012. They were just getting into their stride with hosepipe bans and then…. it’s hardly stopped raining since!

    • Redneck


      Methinks you’ve wilfully misconstrued the information for your own right-wing purposes. You know perfectly well the Government is skilfully matching the number of new immigrants to match the increased rainfall. If we have a high enough population then we will be able to drink all the extra water pouring down and stop any flooding.

      I suspect you don’t have a degree in Social Sciences and this may explain your difficulty grasping this concept.

      • DougS

        I have to admit that I did overlook this possibility. Perhaps the government are, as you say, skilful players in this area of public utilities.

        I should never have doubted them!

        • Redneck


          I will graciously accept your acknowledgment of the genius of our masters!

  • Diogenes

    Well we’ve had 15+years of no global warming whatsoever
    despite record CO2 levels, not at all like what the models predicted. So now
    the global warmists have fixed on weather ‘extremes’ as a sure fire winner. People
    have short memories and with no hindsight there is always an extreme to point
    to. The truth will out eventually. It always does.

    • Swank

      Apparently, the models can’t even ‘predict’ the past, never mind the future.

      The models exist anyway to support a statist/socialist view of how human societies should be run.

    • SkyHunter

      Global warming, defined as an increase in sensible heat to the climate system, has been measured consistently by satellites since 1984. Looking for the measured increase in sensible heat in the surface and troposphere temperature is like judging a book by it’s cover.
      The heat is on the oceans, and the oceans show a strong warming trend.

  • Hugh

    Interesting stuff.

    I’ll probably still be working in 25 years, but hope to retire about a decade after that. I’d therefore like the weather to remain fairly clement but not too hot for the majority of those years, but with blistering summers kicking off towards the end of that period.

    Is there any chance Sir Beddington could provide me with an CO2 emissions schedule that would help me best achieve my climate goals – sort of a personal warming plan?

  • Mr Creosote

    A year ago they announced a hose pipe ban and it’s been pissing down continously ever since…I blame the Torys. Vote kipper I say.