Weather

Met Office global forecasts too warm in 13 of last 14 years

The global temperature in 2013 was 0.486C above the 1961-1990 average based on the HADCRUT measure, figures released by the Met Office show.

This makes 2013 provisionally the 9th warmest year in data which goes back to 1880

This compares with a headline anomaly prediction of 0.57C.

It means that so far this century, of 14 yearly headline predictions made by the Met Office Hadley centre, 13 have been too warm.

It’s worth stressing that all the incorrect predictions are within the stated margin of error, but having said that, they have all been on the warm side and none have been too cold.

The 2013 global temperature also means that the Met Office’s projection that half the years between 2010 and 2015 would be hotter than the hottest year on record (which on the HADCRUT measure was in 1998), issued around the time of the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009, is already incorrect.

The Met Office believe one of the reasons for this ‘warm bias’ in their annual global projections is the lack of observational data in the Arctic circle, which has been the fastest warming area on earth.

They also suggest another reason why the global surface temperature is falling short of their projections is because some of the heat is being absorbed in the ocean beneath the surface.

You can read more on the issue of ‘missing heat’ by clicking here.

The global average temperature in 2014 is expected to be between 0.43 °C and 0.71 °C above the long-term (1961-1990) average of 14.0 °C, with a central estimate of 0.57 °C, according to the Met Office.

Comments

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  • Comment number 104. Posted by waikuku

    on 3 Feb 2014 08:54

    Disappointingly heard the "unprecedented" word used on R4 this morning to describe the recent run of westerlies and succession of deep depressions. Whilst not delving meticulously into the archives I nonetheless had a quick look at a couple of years in my memory and confirmed that the use of the word was erroneous. From mid-Sep 1982 through to early June '83 saw similar (not saying the same) persistent type with some equally deep depressions swinging into the UK. There was a temporary lull from mid to late Feb '83 but the unsettled type continued until faltering in late May early June when a much drier and settled period established itself after the first week in June.

    Aspects that have changed may be more societal than climate. For example, in recent days the flooded folk in Somerset have highlighted the lack of maintenance on the waterways - including drainage dikes. This happens in many places not just Somerset. In the past, at a local level, gulley wagons would clear debris from drainage gutters - it is the exception these days to see that routine maintenance, most gutter drains are full of silt when inspecting on a dry summer's day and yet how many times does a sudden downpour create a huge pool/lake of water that cannot get away? It is one thing to 'moan' about building houses and concreting large areas of land but if the drainage system is not maintained it floods. The whole drainage system, including the built environment and the river/canal/dike systems needs to work in harmony - no point in shifting water from the towns into badly managed countryside systems which then flood for weeks.

    The EA's recent platitudes of concern for flooded folk is the sign of a floundering strategy. Similar 'concern', meaningless apologies and excuses are expressed after each period of flooding. An example of nonsensical strategy, the EA have recently approved the development of 180 homes just 200m from the high-tide line in east Lincs. Their solution? To demand the developer raise the development site by just over 1m on the basis these properties may not flood in the event of storm surge or weather impact. All well and good but in an area at such risk it will not be much consolation for the residents to be high and dry surrounded by flooded land!

    The cost of planned maintenance pales into insignificance when comparing it to the reactive clean ups and rebuild debacle of huge pumps shifting water that the canals, dikes could deal with. Example, here in Lincs main drains and dikes are 'dredged' two or three times each year - of course the land-owners need to keep their own systems in peak condition to benefit from the clear channels. Sure - areas will still flood but the waters will recede within a few days when effectively managed systems are available. Talk of choosing between town or country is nonsense, the bottle-necks created by costly mismanagement need to be removed and quickly.

    And . . .returning to the use of the word 'unprecedented' - perhaps once the effects of persistent mobile or stagnant weather systems are better managed over used words - including "exceptional" and others might be used in moderation to the benefit of all. (maybe even the D Express!).

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  • Comment number 103. Posted by ashleyhr

    on 2 Feb 2014 23:25

    Already statistically impossible I would say (in fairness THAT story was referring to 2012-13 and the 'cold' prediction for 2013-14 was slightly less dramatic (by the 'standards' of the Express that is). I think I read that the provisional UK mean temperature for January 2014 (excluding the last three days) has been 4.9 C. Thus around 5.3 C for the winter so far - which I suspect will either not change or slightly increase by the end of Feb.

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  • Comment number 102. Posted by newdwr54

    on 2 Feb 2014 10:43

    CET for Jan is 5.7; 1.9 above 1961-90 avg.

    CET winter so far (Dec-Jan) is 6.0, which puts it within the warmest 5% of Dec-Jan periods in the 355 year old CET winter record.

    Winter 2013/14 is looking increasingly unlikely to be Britain's "coldest in 100 years": http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/358717/Coldest-winter-in-100-years-on-way

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  • Comment number 101. Posted by ashleyhr

    on 1 Feb 2014 22:54

    Next Wednesday looks a bit nasty.

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  • Comment number 100. Posted by John Samuel

    on 1 Feb 2014 17:52

    There was a journal for your work, Rog. http://www.pattern-recognition-in-physics.net/

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  • Comment number 99. Posted by Ben Vorlich

    on 1 Feb 2014 11:30

    58. Tony Banton
    Quoting directly from Paul's article

    The Met Office believe one of the reasons for this ‘warm bias’ in their annual global projections is the lack of observational data in the Arctic circle, which has been the fastest warming area on earth.

    You'd better let the MO in on where it is and don't blame me for quoting from the article I'm commenting on.

    You need all the strength you can get if you don't actually read what you're commenting on.

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  • Comment number 98. Posted by greensand

    on 31 Jan 2014 23:18

    93. newdwr54

    "If the observations don't at least meet the minimum projections in the next 2 years...."

    DW at present my only wish is that in 2 years time we will be able to look at this forecast and it will be obvious how it has performed against observations.

    If past experience is anything to go by there will by then have been at least two more iterations of the data c/w "presentational" changes and so far such changes have proved to be far from conducive to checking the performance of previous forecasts.

    Read the other day that HadCRUT are planning to use satellite data for sea surface temps. So all previous.....?

    I have often thought that a very young science should concentrate more on the security of data acquisition and validation rather than conclusions. But on the other hand if you don't let people bark their shins rate of progress is restricted. IMVHO the present problem is legislators are using a scientific learning curve to form policy. Policy formed under such circumstances inherently has the potential to be more damaging than the "problem".

    So, as usual, time will tell, even if we can no longer relate to the original?

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  • Comment number 97. Posted by john_cogger

    on 31 Jan 2014 16:50

    If the global temp in Celsius is good enough for NASA, BEST, Roy Spencer, Mr Watts, IPCC, Met O, JAXA, Lord Monckton, John Ketley , Carol Kirkwood and Paul Hudson, then I'm pretty happy to carry on using it.

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  • Comment number 96. Posted by Adrian Buckland

    on 31 Jan 2014 14:48

    Regarding atmospheric water content there's always satellite data.

    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/vapor_warming.html

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  • Comment number 95. Posted by John Marshall

    on 31 Jan 2014 12:13

    @newdwr54.

    They may have done but the answers are poor to meaningless because atmospheric water content has a great affect on heat content and we need to know that for the co*mplete atmospheric column at every weather station. this is not done, indeed cannot be done. We can release radiosonde balloons but these follow the wind so the data covers a larger area than that necessary. Radiosondes are a vital meteorological tool but do not give the total answer on heat which leaves climatologists guessing but then they are good at that.

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