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Posted
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

    There's a big pow-wow going on in Exeter today, it will be interesting to see any conclusions:

     

     

    About 20 of the UK's leading scientists and meteorologists are due to meet at the Met Office to discuss Britain's "unusual" weather patterns. They will try to identify the factors that caused the chilly winter of 2010-11 and the long, wet summer of 2012. They will also try to work out why this spring was the coldest in 50 years - with a UK average of 6C (42.8F) between March and May.

     
    Over the past three years, British weather records have been under increasing pressure. The big freeze that gripped the UK in December 2010 saw the lowest temperature for the month in 100 years. Even the buzz of the London Olympics could not disguise the washout that was last summer, the second wettest for the UK since records began.

     

    Puzzled by these events, scientists from across the UK are meeting at the Met Office in Exeter to try to understand the reasons behind this run of what they term, "unusual seasons".

    Much has been made of the jet stream and how changes in these strong winds affect our weather.

    But the Met Office said that it was but one factor that the researchers would consider.

     

    Posted Image

     

    "The thing to remember with the jet stream is that, much like our weather, it is a symptom of other drivers rather than a cause," said the Met Office's Dan Williams. The scientists will examine the reduction in Arctic sea ice and how itmight be affecting Europe's weather. The theory is that the loss of ice in the Arctic means there is a smaller temperature difference between the North Pole and the warmer, mid latitudes. This in turn could weaken the jet stream, which starts to move around more. When these winds move just south of the UK, colder air can come in from the north.

     

    And as peaks and troughs form along the stream, they can act like a trap for wet weather. "Low pressure systems run along there and drop into a trough and it's very hard to get them back out again, they get stuck like an eddy in a river," explained Dan Williams. "They hit us and come back and we get rain for long periods of time." Another factor that the scientists will be considering are changes in long term ocean cycles such as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, a system of deep currents that transport heat around the world.

     

    Posted Image
     
    The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation can impact weather by distributing heat throughout the world
     
    Prof Stephen Belcher from the Met Office Hadley Centre, who will chair the meeting, said these cycles could be having an impact. "The ocean circulation has been stuck in a rather strange pattern for the past 10 years or so, which in fact has given the unusual weather patterns in many parts of the world," he told BBC News.
     

    Researchers will also look at other factors including solar variability and the effect of the El Nino/La Nina weather patterns. However a discussion of man made climate change is unlikely to feature. "This meeting isn't looking at climate change, it's looking at climate variability in recent seasons," said Dan Williams.

     

    "The aim is to understand some of the causes behind that variability. A lot of those potential causes cannot easily be attributed to climate change. The more we can understand about these potential causes, the better advice we can give on near-term climate from a month out to about a year ahead."

    The researchers say the meeting could redefine the priorities for weather related research into the future.

     

     

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22937375

     

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    Posted
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

     

    Discussions at the Met Office in Exeter will seek to answer whether the unusual seasons were the result of natural variation or linked to impacts of climate change, such as melting Arctic sea ice, which could be influencing weather
     
    Stephen Belcher, head of the Met Office Hadley Centre and chairman of the workshop, said: "We have seen a run of unusual seasons in the UK and northern Europe, such as the cold winter of 2010, last year's wet weather and the cold spring this year. "This may be nothing more than a run of natural variability, but there may be other factors impacting our weather. For example, there is emerging research which suggests there is a link between declining Arctic sea ice and European climate - but exactly how this process might work, and how important it may be among a host of other factors, remains unclear.
     
    "The Met Office is running a workshop to bring together climate experts from across the UK to look at these unusual seasons, the possible causes behind them, and how we can learn more about those drivers of our weather. "This will continue the UK's world class research effort to understand more about the drivers of monthly to seasonal climate across Europe."
     
    The meeting will assess the research done so far and discuss what needs to be studied in the future to get a better idea of what could be causing the weather extremes.

     

     

    http://news.uk.msn.com/experts-discuss-uk-weather-patterns

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    Posted
  • Location: Irlam
  • Location: Irlam

    Putting my cynic hat on here and it is down to the way that news report was written but would they be having their meeting if the above mentioned didn't happen? What I mean that report doesn't mention spring 2011: warmest on record, autumn 2011: 2nd warmest on record?

    Would they have a meeting to try and explain those seasons or would they say "it's part of global warming effect"

    Are they going to identify those factors that caused those extreme seasons? It seems the report is written as though they are looking into seasons that seem to contradict the effects of global warming?

    Maybe I'm just being very cynical.

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    Posted
  • Location: Ribble Valley
  • Location: Ribble Valley

    Maybe they should listen more to one of their own, Judith Curry. She has been at the forefront of looking into the causation of just this, although her questioning of how much impact CO2 as had will do her no favours in the corridors of power. IMO it's a combination of cycles, solar output and a change in the PDO cycle. These two natural factors are without doubt thee biggest drivers of our climate.

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    Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......

    I think we all know the 'weighting' that will arise from the meeting? 'unknown/unmeasured solar portion, AMO/PDO/AO/NAO, portion, polar ice loss impacting pressure/temp gradient from pole to equator - main thrust.

     

    When you look at both historic impacts of the natural compared to todays observations then it's easy to see that the 'difference' between past and present is the appearance of open water across large areas of the Arctic ocean Basin from June through Oct?

     

    Though not a lot of Data for the year so far the 'change' in Jet pattern, esp. the 'stuck weather' generated, is markedly different to the 07-2012 period ( our 'troughing' has gone so we are still dry here with Brierly field being fully dry for the first time in 2 years!!!) so has the 'extra' 18% of the basin open to the air last summer had a further impact on the Jet patterns over winter/spring?

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    Posted
  • Location: Darlington
  • Weather Preferences: Warm dry summers
  • Location: Darlington

    Met Office to analyse 'unusual' British weather

     

    Around 20 of the UK's top climate scientists are to meet at the Met Office headquarters in Exeter to discuss Britain's "unusual" weather patterns. They will try to identify the factors that caused the heavy snow in the winter of 2010 to 2011, the long, wet summer of 2012 and the Spring of 2013, which is the coldest on record in 50 years. The Met Office hopes the meeting will identify new priorities for research.

     

    Graham Satchell reports

     

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22948138

     

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    Posted
  • Location: Exile from Argyll
  • Location: Exile from Argyll

    I think we all know the 'weighting' that will arise from the meeting? 'unknown/unmeasured solar portion, AMO/PDO/AO/NAO, portion, polar ice loss impacting pressure/temp gradient from pole to equator - main thrust.

     

    When you look at both historic impacts of the natural compared to todays observations then it's easy to see that the 'difference' between past and present is the appearance of open water across large areas of the Arctic ocean Basin from June through Oct?

     

    Though not a lot of Data for the year so far the 'change' in Jet pattern, esp. the 'stuck weather' generated, is markedly different to the 07-2012 period ( our 'troughing' has gone so we are still dry here with Brierly field being fully dry for the first time in 2 years!!!) so has the 'extra' 18% of the basin open to the air last summer had a further impact on the Jet patterns over winter/spring?

     

    The Met office have already pointed out the similarity of this years spring pattern to that of 1962 and made the comment that there was difficulty in attributing it to Arctic ice loss.

    Even in 'stuck' patterns the wavelengths don't remain fixed for ever, I would expect the positioning of troughing and ridging to move.

    We are drier this year because we are well north of the jet stream and mostly in north easterlies/easterlies.

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    Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......

    The Met office have already pointed out the similarity of this years spring pattern to that of 1962 and made the comment that there was difficulty in attributing it to Arctic ice loss.

    Even in 'stuck' patterns the wavelengths don't remain fixed for ever, I would expect the positioning of troughing and ridging to move.

    We are drier this year because we are well north of the jet stream and mostly in north easterlies/easterlies.

     

    There is 'avarage positioning' for peaks and troughs esp. if you are downstream of features that deflect the jet ( Rockies). All you need key in is amplitude and wavelength and you can get a good idea where peaks and troughs lie? this is what Prof francis appears to be showing with her data for the last 15years? It would also explain why the US/Greenland have had a number of years impacted by the 'stubborn H.P.'? and why our 'trough' remained in the same area since 07'?

     

    Add a further 'tweak' in the form of the extra energy the pole got last summer from that further 18% drop in cover and you get even less of a difference twixt pole and equator to 'fuel up' the Jet's movement?

     

    When you look at current central alaskan /Siberian temps you can see just how 'reduced' the temp Gradient is these days???

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    Posted
  • Location: hertfordshire
  • Location: hertfordshire

    Good post by Weather History that reflects the warm bias that the met has on climate

    not only in the UK but around the world.

    There was a good post on WUWT also reflecting this. The post entitled 12 reasons  

    why the Met office is alarmed dated June 14, cites 12 out of the last 13 temperature

    forcasts over the last several years have been to warm and dry.

     

    As far as Arctic ice is concerned and what impacts summer melt etc has on the climate

    is still very much open to debate the Met themselves admitting this despite what may

    be written by some posters in this or other threads.

    The Met and other climate and meteorologists held the opinion that higher concentrations

    of Arctic sea ice was one of the reasons for a negative -AO winter oscillation and yet last

    winter saw a predominantly negative AO despite the record ice loss during the previous

    summer. There are of course so many varibles to consider that correlation does not mean  

    causation.

     

    I suspect that at the end of the conference no conclusions will be made except to say more

    research is required.

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    Posted
  • Location: Ireland, probably South Tipperary
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, Snow, Windstorms and Thunderstorms
  • Location: Ireland, probably South Tipperary

    From the Met Office blog

     

     

    Discussing the UK’s recent ‘unusual seasons’
     
    There have been some media stories this morning about a meeting due to be held next week at the Met Office to discuss the recent run of unusual seasons here in the UK.
     
    This will draw together some experts from across UK academia to discuss what happened in three specific seasons and examine some of the potential causes behind conditions.
     
    Workshops of this kind are held on a regular basis on a great deal of issues across weather and climate science.
     
    Collaboration and partnership working is also an integral part of the Met Office’s work at the forefront of research on weather and climate.
     
    Stephen Belcher, Head of the Met Office Hadley Centre and chair of next week’s workshop, said: “We have seen a run of unusual seasons in the UK and Northern Europe, such as the cold winter of 2010, last year’s wet weather and the cold spring this year.
     
    “This may be nothing more than a run of natural variability, but there may be other factors impacting our weather. For example, there is emerging research which suggests there is a link between declining Arctic sea ice and European climate – but exactly how this process might work, and how important it may be among a host of other factors, remains unclear.
     
    “The Met Office is running a workshop to bring together climate experts from across the UK to look at these unusual seasons, the possible causes behind them, and how we can learn more about those drivers of our weather. This will continue the UK’s world class research effort to understand more about the drivers of monthly to seasonal climate across Europe.â€

     

     

    Just because it's in the news, doesn't mean this kind of thing is unprecedented! (The underlining was my own.)

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    Posted
  • Location: Savoy Circus W10 / W3
  • Location: Savoy Circus W10 / W3

    Are they going to identify those factors that caused those extreme seasons? It seems the report is written as though they are looking into seasons that seem to contradict the effects of global warming?Maybe I'm just being very cynical.

    No you are spot on. Almost sounds like an emergency meeting to be able to work out why climate change is not equaling more warmth for the UK at the moment.

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    Posted
  • Location: Ireland, probably South Tipperary
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, Snow, Windstorms and Thunderstorms
  • Location: Ireland, probably South Tipperary

    Seeing as it's been a while since we've had significantly below average seasons, the recent cluster of them seems something worth having a look at. If nothing else, they may find areas of research that need further investigation and may help improve seasonal forecasting.

     

    There really is no need to turn this into yet another global warming conspiracy thread.

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    Posted
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

    There really is no need to turn this into yet another global warming conspiracy thread.

     

    and we wont be!!! :good: 

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    Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......

    But it may be that this meeting is, in hindsight,a very important one?

     

    Should evidence to please all emerge as to the link between Arctic albedo flip and Errant Jet patterns then it is both important and dynamic. The rate of decline in sea ice/snow cover is dramatic in itself if you look at the changes over the past 10yrs. Such impacts have no 'lag-time' ( look at the temps that occur over snow/ice cover to those that develop over bare earth) and so the impacts on the circulation patterns are also 'near 'instant'.

     

    Should we find ourselves 'seasonal' across the Arctic this decade then we will have a very serious situation developing ( scientists agree that once 'seasonal' the time under open water rapidly expands so the jolt of energy the planet receives will sky rocket)? If the post 07' changes caused issues then the post 12' changes will only intensify those issue and any further reductions will also just feed back into the base issue of reduced temp/pressure gradients between pole and equator.

     

    I have always maintained that Mother Nature is far more able to rapidly alter climate than mankind. Mankind may well have provided the initial 'push' but the 'Albedo Flip' , currently ongoing across the Arctic, is pushing climate there much harder than mankind's current level of impact?

     

    We see how much this will impact by looking at the 'abrupt warmings' as we emerged from previous ice ages once enough ice had reached 'critical levels' and was able to melt out over a single season. such changes have driven 10c temp hikes over a period of decades in past 'warm-ups' and though i do not propose anything as dramatic even a 0.5c temp hike brings us beyond the 2c temp rise that science agrees is 'safe' ( and well beyond the level set for the complete melt out of the northern permafrost).

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    Posted
  • Location: Savoy Circus W10 / W3
  • Location: Savoy Circus W10 / W3

    Npthing wrong with having a meeting to better understand the weather - they should have more of them ! Just do not like the choice of language used on the press release thats all. I also hope they will actually look at comparable times where weather was similar to what we have experienced lately and see if any of the similarities / differences need to be investigated further. At leats that is what I would start from - no point looking at anything in isolation as it will tell you nothing.

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    Posted
  • Location: Huddersfield, 145m ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Lots of snow, lots of hot sun
  • Location: Huddersfield, 145m ASL

    I guess those that are smelling 'conspiracy' are conveniently ignoring BFTV's post ? The difference with this particular meeting is that for some reason the media have picked up on it, not that it's an unprecedented 'warmists are alarmed' special conference..........

    Slow news day maybe ? Personally I don't see anything wrong with a group of experts in their field coming together to discuss an issue of particular pertinence to their chosen discipline ?

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    Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......

    I think 'The Media' have finally picked up on the growing  acceptance, within the science, that you cannot see changes as big as we do across the Arctic Basin without it showing impacts ?

     

    It is now over 4 years since we saw the first 'science' on the subject and , year upon year, the data has become more compelling. Last years further 18% reduction in ice cover is close tothe 22% drop wesaw in 07' and so I ( that is me and me alone) would naturally expect this to show a similar scale of forcing to those we got in 07' and all the years post 07'?

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

    I guess those that are smelling 'conspiracy' are conveniently ignoring BFTV's post ? The difference with this particular meeting is that for some reason the media have picked up on it, not that it's an unprecedented 'warmists are alarmed' special conference..........

    Slow news day maybe ? Personally I don't see anything wrong with a group of experts in their field coming together to discuss an issue of particular pertinence to their chosen discipline ?

    Indeed PTFT...

     

    Wouldn't be nice if, just for once, we wait for what they conclude (or don't conclude) before going down the usual 'oh no it isn't' - 'oh yest it is' type of nonsense..?Posted Image 

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    Posted
  • Location: halifax 125m
  • Weather Preferences: extremes the unusual and interesting facts
  • Location: halifax 125m

    they can say what they like but just a few years ago they were saying we would have less snow in winters and warmer DRIER summers .wasn't southern England going to be meditteranean?As far as i'm concerned winters have just returned to what they were previous to the mid 90s,we havnt had anything exceptional there,what we have had is 6 poor summers in a row,that is exceptional,in my lifetime anyway,or it could be an extraordinary blip in a natural cycle!!!!

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    Posted
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

    I was kind of hoping (in vain?) we could wait and see what the conclusions were from the meeting(s) and then, if appropriate, move this thread to a more relevant area of the forum for further discussion on the specifics of the findings.

     

    Hopefully the continuing discussion means my colleagues in the team who look after the Climate Area, won't need to move it before then, as that part of the forum still scares me!!! Posted Image

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    Posted
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks

    Seeing as it's been a while since we've had significantly below average seasons, the recent cluster of them seems something worth having a look at. If nothing else, they may find areas of research that need further investigation and may help improve seasonal forecasting. There really is no need to turn this into yet another global warming conspiracy thread.

    we can live in hope but the majority of posts in here suggest those of us wanting a balnced debate are unlikely to get it.Myself I would have preferred a different style of press release. Until someon does a statistical approach to the last 5-10 years in comparison to the last 150 we have no 'base' to start from. Without a base then what do they measure the last coldest spring against, the last drought, the last heatwave, flood etc, what is used to show how there is any difference in what has gone on in the previous 150 years? Little point to me either in restricting this to the UK only, a small part of the northern hemisphere. But yes it would be best to wait for their conclusions before any of us jump the gun so to speal.apologies for doing just that but I am not the only one doing that in here.
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    Posted
  • Location: Ribble Valley
  • Location: Ribble Valley

    we can live in hope but the majority of posts in here suggest those of us wanting a balnced debate are unlikely to get it.Myself I would have preferred a different style of press release. Until someon does a statistical approach to the last 5-10 years in comparison to the last 150 we have no 'base' to start from. Without a base then what do they measure the last coldest spring against, the last drought, the last heatwave, flood etc, what is used to show how there is any difference in what has gone on in the previous 150 years? Little point to me either in restricting this to the UK only, a small part of the northern hemisphere. But yes it would be best to wait for their conclusions before any of us jump the gun so to speal.apologies for doing just that but I am not the only one doing that in here.

    I thought my post was balanced John as I highlighted what could be reasons why and asked why are they not consulting with others in- house such as Judith Curry.
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    Posted
  • Location: Ireland, probably South Tipperary
  • Weather Preferences: Cold, Snow, Windstorms and Thunderstorms
  • Location: Ireland, probably South Tipperary

    we can live in hope but the majority of posts in here suggest those of us wanting a balnced debate are unlikely to get it.Myself I would have preferred a different style of press release. Until someon does a statistical approach to the last 5-10 years in comparison to the last 150 we have no 'base' to start from. Without a base then what do they measure the last coldest spring against, the last drought, the last heatwave, flood etc, what is used to show how there is any difference in what has gone on in the previous 150 years? Little point to me either in restricting this to the UK only, a small part of the northern hemisphere. But yes it would be best to wait for their conclusions before any of us jump the gun so to speal.apologies for doing just that but I am not the only one doing that in here.

     

    Hi John,

    I'm not sure if the Met Office produced an official press release about this conference? Or do you mean the blog post?

     

    There is the historical reanalysis data that goes back to the end of the 19th century which includes many upper level winds and pressure datasets.

    Plenty of peer reviewed studies have analysed, statistically and otherwise, trends in the jet stream using this and other reanalysis datasets. I doubt their discussions will be restricted to just the UK seeing as it's impossible to look at large scale variability without looking further afield, but being the UK Met Office, it seems reasonable to focus on how these changes have impacted British weather.

     

    Anywho, it's only a workshop/conference, so just really an expert brainstorming event.

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