UK Winter Precipitation – As Unpredictable As Ever

A year ago, we were told that the wet winter was due to climate change. Apparently the climate has changed again, because this rainfall is pretty much back to average this winter. The consensus of Dr Slingo [the Met Office Chief Scientist] and her pals is that “climate change” will lead to wetter winters. (This is except when we get a cold, dry one, which is then blamed on the melting Arctic). The reality is that none of them have a clue what the next month will bring, never mind the next century. –Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That, 6 March 2015

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The floods affecting large parts of the country are probably connected to climate change, David Cameron has said. The prime minister told MPs that there were more “abnormal” weather events occurring and he “suspected” they were linked to global temperature changes. —BBC News, 8 January 2015

The British Government’s main climate science adviser, the UK Met Office, says the present exceptionally wet and stormy winter “could be a manifestation of climate change.” Its chief scientist, Dame Julia Slingo, said there was no evidence to counter what the basic science says will happen as the world warms ‚Äì that heavy, fierce downpours of rain will occur more often. “Nobody has come forward to counter the basic premise that if you have a warmer world you are going to get more intense heavy rain rates” –Alex Kirby, Climate News Network, 9 February 2014

Last week the Met Office and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology issued an admirable joint report on the floods and their possible connection to climate change, concluding that it is not possible to make such a link. ‘As yet’, it said, ‘there is no definitive answer on the possible contribution of climate change to the recent storminess, rainfall amounts and the consequent flooding’. In many ways this was not much of a surprise, since only the wild activist fringe among the climate science community have tended to try to make the link in the past. –Andrew Montford, The Spectator 18 February 2014