Melanie's Blog

A truly magical theory

Posted by Melanie Phillips

Goya: The Sleep of Reason Produces MonstersDame Julia Slingo, Chief Scientist at the UK Met Office, says that while there is ‘not yet definitive proof’, nevertheless ‘all the evidence’ suggests that ‘climate change’ is a contributory factor to the storms and heavy rainfall now causing the devastating floods in southern England.

Cue much respectful reportage of this ‘significant’ attribution by the Met Office (where, incidentally, the anthropogenic global warming scam was first invented in the late 1980s under the influence of Margaret Thatcher who wanted to smash the coal industry, and has been reinforced ever since with a zeal exceeded only by the incompetence of Met Office forecasts such as its prediction last autumn of a dry winter; but let that pass). Just how does Dame Julia arrive at this ‘significant’ conclusion?

By common consent, the villain of the piece is said to be the jet stream. There is a symbiotic relationship between the jet stream and the depressions which form on its flanks. The current storms were triggered, it is said, because the jet stream altered position and force, in the process causing a collision of cold and warm air which intensified its ferocity.

Think that explanation might stymie those who claim that all ‘extreme weather events’ are caused by climate change? Think again. The warmists have created a link purporting to show that the jet stream’s atypical behavior has been influenced by… climate change.

This is how it is supposed to work. The jet stream is said to have been disrupted by a sharp rise in ocean temperatures. A Met Office paper, co-written by Dame Julia, says this disruption was triggered by persistent rainfall over Indonesia and the tropical West Pacific. This seems to be because depressions increase the velocity of the jet stream, which in turn creates ferocious storms.

 And why was this rainfall so heavy? Dame Julia writes:

‘We also know that the subtropical, tropical Atlantic is now quite a lot warmer than it was 50 years ago. The air that enters this storm system comes from that part of the Atlantic where it is obviously going to be warmer and carrying more moisture. This is just basic physics.’

Hang on: first it’s the Pacific which has warmed and caused extra rainfall through moisture; yet now the Atlantic is being fingered.  The paper says the disturbances to the jet stream meant the Pacific jet was deflected into the path of the North Atlantic jet. Okaaay… But it also says this carried colder air. Plus this:

‘The North Atlantic jet stream has also been unusually strong; this can be linked to an unusually strong westerly phase of the stratospheric Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO), which in turn has driven a very deep polar vortex and strong polar night jet.’

So the vagaries of the jet stream have nothing to do with the warming Pacific, then? Nor the warming Atlantic? Might both perhaps be implicated in the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation and deep polar vortex? Or might the authors of this paper just be making it all up in desperation as they go along?

But wait: a quite separate theory, currently causing great excitement in the warmosphere, makes the latest in a series of desperate attempts to explain away the pesky little fact that, since the late 1990s, there has been no increase in global warming even though Co2 levels have continued to rise. This new theory, advanced by Professor Matthew England in Nature, states that temperatures have remained static because the surface of the oceans is cooler. Apparently this is because (wait for it) strong trade winds have pushed atmospheric heat down into the oceans, leaving their surface cool. As a result, global warming has, er, paused.

So the Met Office is saying storms have been caused by the oceans being warm; but the Nature paper says global warming has paused because the oceans are cool. So are the seas –when they are not rising through all that ice melting into them – getting cooler or warmer?

Both! Prof England states:

‘Here we show that a pronounced strengthening in Pacific trade winds over the past two decades—unprecedented in observations/reanalysis data and not captured by climate models—is sufficient to account for the cooling of the tropical Pacific and a substantial slowdown in surface warming through increased subsurface ocean heat uptake. The extra uptake has come about through increased subduction in the Pacific shallow overturning cells, enhancing heat convergence in the equatorial thermocline. At the same time, the accelerated trade winds have increased equatorial upwelling in the central and eastern Pacific, lowering sea surface temperature there, which drives further cooling in other regions’.

So the trade winds both warm and cool the oceans simultaneously! When the oceans are cool, they are really hot! Just like ‘climate change’ itself causes both heat and cold, floods and drought – uh, sorry, ‘extreme weather events’. A truly magical theory, no?

Professor England assures us that the AGW ‘pause’ is therefore only temporary; when the trade winds die down, the climate will heat up again. What is the evidence for this? Just the belief that the AGW theory simply cannot be wrong.

So it would seem that wind patterns are altered by seas warmed through climate change; but climate change itself is caused by wind patterns which make the seas either warm or cool. Surely a supreme demonstration of biofeedback loopiness.

Indeed, just what is ‘all the evidence’ that makes Dame Julia ascribe the storms to ‘climate change’? For her own paper says this:

‘In terms of the UK weather, the stronger than normal polar vortex throughout the winter is an indication of a less variable and colder stratosphere than normal and a strong polar night jet. This predisposes the circulation towards the positive phase of the Arctic Oscillation with more stormy weather conditions over the North Atlantic.’

So the stratosphere is colder than normal – and thus may also have contributed to the storms. Tell me again quite how that corresponds to anthropogenic global warming?

The Met Office paper also says that, for various reasons (UK weather notoriously volatile, appropriate computer modelling systems not yet in place to ‘prove’ what they already know to be unarguably true) attributing changes in rainfall, regional climate and weather extremes to ‘climate change’ is, uh,


By which Dame Julia et al mean these changes cannot be attributed to AGW. But does that dent their certainty that AGW is the cause? Of course not!

‘There is no evidence to counter the premise that a warmer world will lead to more intense daily and hourly heavy rain events.'

And so the evidence to support the theory that ‘climate change’ has caused the storms is… that there’s no evidence to falsify what is merely a supposition.

Truly, AGW is a magical theory that explains absolutely everything – including diametrically contradictory phenomena, lack of logic and absence of evidence – whenever people observe profoundly, ‘Something funny’s happening to the weather’.

I have another theory to explain the current deluge. It is Galileo, Newton and Einstein weeping uncontrollably from above.