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A step-change in earth's climate outlook?

By Dennis T. Avery
web posted January 3, 2011 

As Britain suffers through its third straight harsh winter, a British watchdog group is calling for an inquiry into the failed recent long-range weather forecasts of the British Meteorological Office. The Met Office has long one of the leading promoters of man-made warming fears and therefore has tended to see warming around every corner.

Dr. Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation says, "The current winter fiasco is no longer a joke, as the economic damage to the British economy as a result of the country's ill-preparedness . . . could reach $15 billion."

The Met Office informed the government this summer that there was only a small chance of a severe winter in 2010/11, especially in the midst of a long global warming trend. Now, however, thousands of weary travelers have been stranded in European airports, while highway crews have lacked the sand and salt to keep the roads safe.   

"The key question is," says British Transport Minister Philip Hammond, "if there was a 'step change' in the UK weather, what would it look like?  The answer is, of course, it would look like what we have seen in recent years. Hence there is no logical case to say there hasn't been a step change."

Meanwhile, Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu  of the University of Alaska has published a paper in Natural Science saying that since 1850 the earth has been recovering from the Little Ice Age—and that this natural recovery is still continuing at about 0.5 degree per century. Ice cores and seabed sediments show this moderate, natural 1,500-year cycle has been occurring for the last million years. The Modern Warming is likely to be about as warm eventually as the Medieval Warming that blessed the earth with sunny growing seasons from 950–1300 AD.

At the same time, however, Dr. Akasofu has identified a 50–60 year sub-cycle driven by Pacific Ocean temperatures, which shifted to cool in 1940, to warm in 1976, and back to cool again as of 2000. He is predicting another 20 years of modest cooling for earth before the longer warming trend reasserts itself.

Back in Britain, the natives are growing restless about the failed "official" long-term weather forecasts.

John Walsh of The Independent wrote recently, "Some climatologists hint that the Office's problem is political. Its computer habitually feeds in government-backed assumptions about climate change that aren't borne out by the facts. To the Met Office, the weather's always warmer than it really is." 

Paul Hudson of BBC Weather asks, "Could the model, seemingly with an inability to predict colder seasons, have developed a warm bias after such a long period of milder than average years?"

Dominic Lawson of the Sunday Times asserted, "A period of humility and even silence would be welcome from the Met Office, which had promised a "barbecue summer" in 2009 [it was wet and cold] and one of the '"warmest winters on record' [for 2010/11 instead of the harsh cold and blizzards which have occurred]."  

To cap it all off UK forecaster Piers Corbyn, noted for his skepticism on man-made warming, has become nationally famous for being right while the Met Office was wrong. For example, Corbyn predicted in November that this winter would be Britain's coldest in 100 years. He even predicted the snowy Christmas. How does he do it: Apparently by looking at solar patterns, the number of cosmic rays hitting the earth, the Moon's impact on streaming particles, and jet streams. Corbyn's subscription forecasts are becoming a staple with businesses that "need to know". ESR

Dennis T. Avery, a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC, is an environmental economist. He was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State. He is co-author, with S. Fred Singer, of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Hundred Years, Readers may write him at PO Box 202, Churchville, VA 24421 or email to cgfi@hughes.net

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