Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Why did my willy turn black and drop off?

James Delingpole writing in The Telegraph (with thanks to http://twitter.com/s_dog, a Yank living here in Perth - Jeez, I hope he's not from the South, otherwise I've grievously offended him).

Read to the end to see who called the current icy and miserable conditions in Britain correctly, the UK Met Office or independent weather forecaster Piers Corbyn.
Q: What's the difference between 'weather' and 'climate'?

A: Climate is when it’s warming and weather is when it’s not.

Thanks, Beachmaster, over at Watts Up With That for explaining the difference. Otherwise, we scientific ignoramuses might have gone on asking silly, awkward questions like: “How come, when I went to urinate on my compost heap just now – as per official Government planet-saving, AGW-avoiding, eco-regulations – my willy turned black and dropped off?” and “Why in the name of Beelzebub and his hellish spawn has the man in charge of the ineffably useless Met Office just been given a 25 per cent pay rise?”


Just as well, isn’t it, at times like these that we have organisations like the Guardian to tell it like it is. As it helpfully explains here, you may think that this winter is unusually cold, but in fact it’s perfectly normal and the Met Office has got everything absolutely spot on as usual.

It may be called a freak cold snap, but it’s actually a fairly routine distribution of winter weather, the Met Office insists.

The BBC, too, is working hard to give us a proper sense of perspective. For example, yesterday, when some irresponsible fool at its website came up with the headline “Coldest December since 1981″, one of its Senior AGW Correctness Co-Ordination And Management Advisors quite rightly changed the story so that it had the much more exciting and important headline “Tourist spot in Northern Ireland gets a bit slippery.”


Meanwhile, BBC News website environment correspondent Richard Black is quite rightly maintaining a dignified silence of this piece he wrote last October ridiculing Britain’s most successful long-range weather forecaster Piers Corbyn for not believing in AGW. (Hat tip: Pistol Pete)

In case you haven’t come across his work before, Mr Corbyn has developed his own method of weather forecasting based on patterns of solar activity and interactions between the magnetic fields of the Sun and the Earth.

He’s not shy about lauding the success of his technique in comparison to methods employed by what you might term “mainstream” forecasters, such as the UK Met Office.


Detractors point out that he has not published scientific papers detailing his methods, meaning that it’s impossible for others to verify them; also, that because his company WeatherAction sells these forecasts, he has a commercial interest in promoting his own success and in denigrating competitors. At the meeting, he explained that the essential ingredients are phenomena that he terms “red strikes” and Swips (solar weather impact periods).

They derive from solar and magnetic phenomena, and are to some degree inherently predictable, he says – some forecasts can be made two years in advance.

He uses historical datasets to make correlations between patterns of strikes and Swips and patterns of weather. His forecasting works by assuming that a certain pattern of strikes and Swips now is likely to produce the same weather pattern as it did in the past.
Yeah, we get the idea, Richard. Boo! Hiss! Silly Piers Corbyn! With his silly, old-fashioned, AGW-denying ways he’ll be no match for the computer modelling whizzes at the good old Met Office, eh?

He goes on:

The UK winter, [Corbyn] forecasts, is likely to be cold with some very cold spells. His bete noire, the Met Office, says in an “early indication” that temperatures are likely to be near or above the recent average (3.7C for December), though there is a one in seven chance of a cold one.


So there you are. The forecasts are out; let battle commence.
Hmm. I wonder who is going to win.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous


spot_the_dog said...

"Jeez, I hope he's not from the South, otherwise I've grievously offended him."

(A) Yes, I am.
(B) No, you haven't.

Love your blog ;-)

Garth Godsman said...

I'm glad.

And you are very kind.