Piers Corbyn

Prompted by a fight at wikipedia over whether PC is an astrophysicist, a meterologist, a meterological consultant, or something else, I looked at “weather action”s website for his proofs of success (ah, for those who don’t know, PC claims to predict UK weather a year or so in advance via a “solar weather” technique whose details are obscure, since he won’t publish them. The solar-weather link is unclear, as indeed is his method of predicting solar a year in advance. It makes him inclined to disbelieve CO2-GW (since its all solar, guv) and he got into TGGWS confusing weather and climate).

And I find: Forecasts with proven skill. The betting I can’t verify; the Wheeler paper (JASTP, 2001, p28-34) I can read (according to WoK, its never been cited). It is full of caveats: firstly that forecasts are intrinsically hard to verify; second that due to ambiguities the only thing verified was a yes/no to a gale anywhere in the lowland UK. So PC’s first point (predicting major storm, flood or freezing) is wrong: it was only gales that were looked at. OTOH the four most notable storms were predicted, and the 5th was missed by 48h (PC counts this as “predicted” and the paper includes it).

The main result of the paper is a table of probabilities for the chances of the forecast being better than chance. This is complicated by the strong annual cycle in the data: there are very few gales in summer. So the measure of “skill” they use includes a credit for forecasting no gale, and no gale occurring: but this is a trivial task for the summer months. The result is (to my eye) a slightly strange set of probabilities of being achieveing these results by chance: 0.0001 for all-year; 0.008 for excluding summer; and 0.19 for winter (October to March). Which is to say, not statistically significant (by the usual 5% test) for winter; but highly significant for all-year. I rather suspect that this may be an artefact of the statistics, but I can’t be sure (should the results really vary that much for period-considered?).

The paper concludes “The results provide little evidence to dismiss the observed success rates as being attributable to mere chance…”. But of course thats exactly what people continue to do, for a variety of reasons: mostly the mistrust of the technique (as being largely unknown, and implausible in the bits that are known); partly reluctance to accept an outsider; partly (I guess) being suspicious of the statistics used (in the paper, not by PC). Its a bit of a shame more verification isn’t done; there may be reluctance on both sides.

Comments

  1. #1 James Annan
    2007/06/19

    I read the Wheeler paper some time ago and considered “auditing” the stats a bit: that’s not to cast aspersions on Wheeler (who thinks that PC made too much of the results), but merely with the idea of further investigating how significant they really are…

    It’s worth pointing out that Pascal Mailier says he asked PC to join his forecasting project (see this post, including comment), and didn’t get a reply. It seems to be his standard approach when prompted to put up.

    [Perhaps, in the spirit of testing openness, you could ask Wheeler for his data. Though it does say he had to buy some of it from the Met Office (sigh) so he may just say he can't hand it over -W]

  2. #2 Luna_the_cat
    2007/06/19

    Piers Corbyn does not appear to have any academic standing, background, or contacts; he refuses to divulge his prediction techniques or methods to anyone for examination; and his actual prediction record is, shall we say, not exactly justified by the evidence, and I can say this from watching him. Perhaps he interprets his success rather more generously than a skeptic would be inclined to, but having watched him since 2005, it seems like he claims his predictions are accurate if they are anywhere in the general vague ballpark of what happens. My own take is that what he predicts is very much on par with what one would get from paying attention to normal patterns of weather for specific parts of the world at certain times of year, anyway, and shows that level of accuracy.

    There are a few interesting comments on James Annan’s blog from 2005 (Google ‘James’ Empty Blog Piers Corbyn’), and various other people who watch him with interested skepticism have reached similar conclusions (f’rinstance http://devonandcornwallviewpoint.blogspot.com/2007/01/review-of-mr-corbyns-forecast.html ). What amazes me is how much business and media attention he seems to get on the basis of uncritical acceptance of unconfirmable claims of his own success.

    Unfortunately, due to William Hill’s apparent policy of not giving out information on specific policies for specific punters, it hasn’t been possible for me to confirm his claims about his betting success, although I was going to try another office/approach when I get a chance.

    Overall, I would place him in the category of “successful huckster” with the integrity of a sincere astrologer.

    The current Wiki article up about him certainly seems to have been written by an uncritical fan.

    [Unfortunately James' stuff, and the Devon stuff, is just anecdotal about one forecast. As for wiki - there is very little source for info other than PC himself -W]

  3. #3 Adam
    2007/06/19

    There has been some discussion and following of his stuff on UKWW and it’s been noted that he’s claimed success when he’s been way off, as well as silent when way off (which seemed to be most of the time that results were compared).

    BTW I also seem to recall that there has been some conflation of LP systems and thunderstorms, with both being called storms, but both being very different phenomena. That could be my memory though.

  4. #4 Luna_the_cat
    2007/06/19

    I’m very aware that anecdote != data, but I can’t find anywhere that keeps real, formal records of his predictions and their outcomes (except for what he claims, which I find highly suspect).

    There’s more here — lots more.

    Really, I haven’t seen anything which would make me take him particularly seriously.

    [How about the JASTP article? -W]

  5. #5 James Annan
    2007/06/19

    On reviewing my email inbox, it seems like I did ask Wheeler for his data, he said he was just going on a trip and would get back to me, but he never did, and probably I didn’t chase him up. I can’t guarantee my record is complete of course. He was quite open and friendly (actually sent me a hard copy of the paper in question) so I presume it was a genuine oversight (and/or possibly the data are lost).

    Having managed to cross the “statistically significant” threshold once, it seems quite clear that PC does not want any more evaluation of his output.

  6. #6 Luna_the_cat
    2007/06/19

    It took me a little clicking around, but I found I have access to the full JASTP article.

    Uhm, well…it doesn’t blow him out of the water as a crank. There is moderate support, though it doesn’t rule out simple familiarity with weather patterns. I’ve only skimmed the statistics, though I think Wheeler may be overstating the significance of some. I still think the fact that the guy follows weather obsessively has more to do with any predictive success than his “solar methods”, especially since exact detail is usually off.

    Tell you what — if you don’t have access to the full thing yourself (I would imagine you do, but just in case, and for anyone else who might want it) — the paper doesn’t seem to be available in .pdf, but I’ve just downloaded the full HTML, with tables and figures — if you send a usable email address to me at accademia_dei_lincei “at” yahoo.co.uk, I’ll send it to you as a .zip file and you can read it yourself.

  7. #7 Luna_the_cat
    2007/06/19

    Ignore part of my last comment, it’s quite clear you have access to the full paper. Duh. [goes off for more coffee, again]

    Yes, I do tend to distrust the significance attributed to the statistics analysed in the Wheeler paper. I would be tempted to put it against a chi-squared analysis myself for sheer curiosity’s sake if I had anything which vaguely resembled spare time.

  8. #8 Gareth
    2007/06/19

    Our NZ equivalent to Corbyn is the “moon man”, Ken Ring. He publishes almanacs giving detailed predictions for a year ahead for both NZ and Australia. I had a go at “auditing” his forecasts for last year (with a bit of help from a friend at MetService, and an IPCC lead author(!)), and found his predictions to be no better (and sometimes worse) than predicting climatology. Lots more in Ringworld.

    The real mystery, given that his forecasts are useless, is why people keep buying his books…

  9. #9 Sergei Rodionov
    2007/10/05

    [Thanks for this. I too have read the Wheeler paper. I didn't go into the statistics too far, but agree the seasonal variation is a problem and may be contaminating the results. Corbyns vitriolic response is unsurprising -W]

    I happened to get involved (to my regret) in some sort of debate with Corbyn about his forecasts and had to read the Wheeler’s paper. Below is my reply to Corbyn:

    — In climatesceptics@yahoogroups.com, “Piers Corbyn” wrote:
    > 3. In your e-mail off you go again with, and I will be frank, drivel. If you
    > could bother to read Dr Denis Wheeler actually said in his assessment paper
    > he of course makes it clear the success is ‘not due to over-forecasting’. To
    > suggest a lecturing qualified statistician commissioned by a consortium of
    > leading insurers at the time wouldn’t examine such aspects is an insult to
    > Dr Wheeler, the University of Sunderland, the Insurance consortium and the
    > Journal of Atmospheric & Solar-Terrestrial Physics. I advise you apologise
    > to him and I have copied him into this Email.

    Here is what I wrote:

    I spent much time and effort to obtain the Wheeler’s paper, since I don’t have a subscription, and hence, an online access to J. Atm. Solar-Terr. Phys. I tried to e-mail Dr. Wheeler (dennis.wheeler@beeb.net), but my message bounced back. It would be good if bought this paper and put it on your web site for an easy access, because this paper is the most credible source of information regarding the accuracy of your forecasts. It is s a peer-reviewed journal, although it was a bit odd that the author did not thank the anonymous reviewers, as most authors do. He thanked you, the insurance companies who paid for the research, but not the reviewers. I was told that it was a special issue.

    After reading this paper, I have a mixed feeling. Dr. Wheeler starts with acknowledging that the evaluation of qualitative forecasts is “not rooted in any objective or accepted scientific method and is a process fraught with difficulty.” This is particularly true when the forecasts are wordy/ descriptive, in which case the task may be ‘nearly impossible.’ In the case of gale forecasts by Weather Action, which was the subject of that 2-yr study, no references were made to specific time or regions.

    Nevertheless, Dr. Wheeler provides a 2×2 contingency table (I assume that this table is correct, although, given the uncertainty with the forecasts, I would prefer to see the raw data). From this table, it is calculated that 73% of the predictions are correct. Obviously, this is an inflated numver, because gale is a rare event, particularly in summer (From his Fig. 1: ~0.2 event/month in summer and ~2 events/months in winter). As a result, the overwhelming majority of the correct predictions come from the cell “Forecast-No/ Observed-No.” If someone were making “no gale” forecast all the time, its accuracy would be 72%.

    Dr. Wheeler does a good job by acknowledging this problem and partitioning the forecasts by season. He then uses the Kuiper test to asses the ‘success-against-chance.’ Woodcock (1976) considers this test, also known as the true skill statistic (TSS), as the best for most scientific and administrative purposes, although it has some disadvantages in situations involving forecasts of rare events. Doswell et al., 1990 (“On summary measures of skill in rare event forecasting based on contingency tables”, Weather and Forecasting, 5, 576-585.) conclude that “the TSS is an improper scoring rule for rare event forecasting.” Interestingly, the skill score substantially decreases from summer to winter (remaining marginally significant at the 95% level), the effect not explained by the author. The TSS can also be interpreted as (accuracy for events) + (accuracy for non-events) – 1. My guess is that the second term diminishes in winter; also the TSS is unduly weighted toward the first term (Doswell et al., 1990). BTW, an assessment of confidence intervals for some performance measures like TSS can be very tricky.

    Overall, after reading this article, I remained unconvinced. Just looking at the contingency table (23 gales were successfully predicted, 21 gales were falsely predicted, and 18 gales occurred that were not predicted – The Wikipedia article got that right) and applying some common sense, it is hard to agree with the author’s conclusion that for the all year events “the forecast success rates have only a 1 in 1000 probability of occurring by chance.” Probably, this is because of some deficiency of the verification method, as discussed above.

    At the end, I would like to say that I spent enough time trying to figure out the intricacies of the Weather Action forecasts and their verification, and have no intention to continue this work further. I would understand if you tried to predict weather conditions for days, or a couple of weeks, after some magnetic storm, flares, or some other events on the Sun. For longer time scale, it would be fine with me if your forecasts were formulated is some sort of probabilistic fashion (e.g., the probability of gale force wind is expected to be above long-term mean). I would be fully supportive if you directed your effort to explain the mechanisms of solar effect on the Earth’s climate. But predicting INDIVIDUAL WEATHER events 6 or 11 months in advance is to me (sorry for saying that) simply nonsense (ask Richard Lindzen, with whom you were panel representatives of ‘sceptics etc’. It would be very interesting to hear his opinion about this type of forecasts).

    All the best,

    Sergei Rodionov
    http://climatelogic.com

  10. #10 Piers Corbyn
    2007/11/10

    What you write about me is pack of lies.
    You might care to read the note below and another one of my CV.

    Storm surge assualt on coast defences was predicted by Weather Action Long range forecasters

    [Jolly good. Now if only you'd released your prediction publicly *before* the event rather than after, people might believe you -W]

    Latest News and comment on storm developments 8th Nov
    “Our long range serious storm warning for this period is now verified” said Piers Corbyn of Weather Action long range forecasters who predicted this storm event from 11 months ago to within a day using revolutionary solar particle and magnetic techniques.

    “Our update issued 3 weeks ago specifically warned of threats to sea defences now upon us”, he said. “As we predicted travel is being disrupted, there are serious threats – very likely breaches – to sea defences in East England and Europe and the most likely storm track which we spelt out in our mid-October update and repeated in the 30day update* is being followed.

    Our forecast correctly warned that Standard meteorology would underestimate wind strengths even from 24hours ahead. On Tuesday BBC News 24 Met forecast wind max gusts for Thursday of 60-70mph; on Wednesday the estimate was 70-80mph and on Thursday itself ‘up to 90mph”. There are many reports in excess of 80mph and the highest gust so far has been 108mph at North Rona in the Shetland Islands.”

    “We are in a very important solar-magnetic period” said Piers. “The corridor is now open for solar events and changes in Sun-Earth links to have maximum effect. Standard meteorology cannot keep up with events. It is now important to watch developments around Sunday 11th to Tuesday 13th. we are 90% confident that the Low pressure(s) forecast then for North of Britain will get more intense than standard meteorology expectations and winds will be stronger. As now this will be felt mainly in Northern parts of the British Isles and in Norway, Denmark and to some extend the Netherlands as the Low centre tracks East.
    “The serious storm we forecast for 24th-28th November is likely to follow a more generally Southerly and more damaging track through the British Isles and into Europe – esepcially Scnadinavia and Holland ”

    [Sorry, this is the same old vague stuff. That there might be a storm on the 24-28th will surprise no-one -W]

    “These storms – and other extreme events we have also predcted around the world – are caused by solar activity and nothing to do with CO2 /Global Warming although doubtless such claims will be made. It is time those who propagate such baseless hype are challenged to produce evidence for their claims. Why should the public accept lower levels of integrity from scientists and environmental experts than they do from politicians?” said Piers

    [Weird. No-one is blaming these storms on GW because of course they aren't - they are simply weather and require no particular cause. Blaming them on the sun is pretty wacky too -W]

    *words below; e mail piers@weatheraction.com for full pdf of November forecast and storm track prediction map.

    8-12/13 Nov (later in Scandinavia): SEVERE DAMAGING STORMS at Sea and in Scotland and parts of NI and N England. A major destructive Storm develops with gusts over 90mph 50% likely in parts of North and tornado type events possible in many parts. Less windy in South.

    Travel disruption over land sea and air. Threats to sea defences in many places on winds and tides (New Moon 9th/10th gives higher tides). The storm centre will track East and likely bring damage to a band of mainly Scandinavia which includes (75% confident) Bergen, Oslo, Stockholm, & possibly (40%) Helsinki & St Petersburg.

    Max Gust level probabilities forecast for Scotland, North of Northern Ireland and NE England and sea/islands (eg for top most gusts) >70mph 85%; > 90mph 50%; >110mph 15%

    Hot News links:
    The Scotsman 8th November 2007 GALE force winds battered Scotland today, causing delays and disruption for commuters. Bridges were closed and ferry services cancelled as gusts of up to 90mph were expected to hit the north of the country. http://news.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=1776202007

    Flood threats SKY Link quoting Minister Hilary Benn and Forecaster Francis Wilson.
    East Coast and Rotterdam coasts under serious danger on morning 9th November.
    Thames barrier to be closed.
    http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30100-1292155,00.html

    COASTAL FLOOD THREATS British Cabinet Office Emergency Committee ‘COBRA’ meets http://uk.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUKL0862102620071108

    8 severe flood warnings, 10 flood warnings, 24 flood watches….(at 21.00hrs, it just went up…)
    http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/subjects/flood/floodwarning/?lang=_e

    Oil companies brace for North Sea storm by cutting staff, production at 2 fields
    http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/11/06/business/EU-FIN-Norway-Oil-Production.php

    Norway link http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article2087477.ece

    Well known Blog for Holland
    http://pietpaulusma.sbs6.nl/piets-blog-algemeen/knmi-houdt-superstorm-voor-mogelijk.html

    E mail from Holland Hi Piers Superstorm Corbyn …Watch this video: they talk about you (hope your dutch is OK…)
    http://cgi.omroep.nl/cgi-bin/streams?/id/VARA/serie/VARA_101141604/VARA_101157298/bb.20071107.asf?start=0:0:95.1&end=0:0:626

    Email to Weather Action from NW Scotland Coast morning 8th Nov 2007..”…The winds are building…. The end of Oct prediction** was correct and tonight into tomorrow morning is correct again. Heaven help us for the end of Nov! We survived the Jan 2005 storm reaching wind speeds of 120mph, extremely scary night, we lost electric for 4 days after with alot of damage done to property, particuarly roofs all around my immediate local area. It’s about to get wild! Over and out ….
    (**from Weather Action for rain/wind storms centred on weekend 27-28 Nov)

    Comment, 7th Nov, from Piers Corbyn of Weather Action:
    “The developing storm is excellently following our forecast first produced 11 months ago and updated with some small change in mid-October. The timing is correct to within a day. The storm ferocity is as extreme as we warned (and because of its ferocity it now has an official name – Andrea). The track (which we amended to a bit further North in the 45day ahead update) is also accurate.
    As we warned this storm is hitting NORWAY hard. This is ironic and wholly appropriate in view of the fact that the Norway-centred Nobel Prize committee gave a prize to Al Gore for his film which propagates false science.
    The fact is that solar particle and magnetic activity NOT CO2 drives weather and climate; that is how we can make reliable long range forecasts while CO2 and standard meteorology cannot. Will the Nobel committee now review their award?
    Some forecasters who use standard meteorology are very impressed by Weather Action long range forecasts but at the same time certain leading lights in the environment and meteorology fields in continental Europe have made ill-informed and rude remarks. I suggest that they allow events rather than their prejudices to test the science of our forecasts and work to ensure the public are safe rather than misled.”

    NOTE TO MEDIA and bloggers

    Any reportage of this forecast must acknowledge Weather Action and accurately reflect the actual forecast made by Weather Action.

    These forecasts are produced using Weather Action’s Solar Weather Technique of long range Forecasting which depends on predictable aspects of solar particle and magnetic effects and are nothing to do with CO2. The extreme rain and wind events this November are caused by solar magnetic effects and are not a consequence of CO2/’Climate Change’. We request media to make this fact clear.

    AVAILABLE ON REQUEST – email info@weatheraction.com
    => WeatherAction November forecast (includes storm deatils) and Wind probability forecast also visit http://www.lowefo.com
    => British Isles summer forecasts and letter to Gordon Brown and ASSESSMENT
    {for a wet summer with floods – showing11/11 success rate for flood periods in British Isles forecast, 10/11 England only)
    => Refutation of claims by Professor Lockwood that Solar activity has no importance in weather and climate => Full 44 slides by Piers Corbyn as produced for Institute Of Physics Climate Change seminar 7th June
    ++++End++++

    [How about you mail me the December or better still January forecast and I'll post it up well ahead of time? -W]

  11. #11 Piers Corbyn
    2007/11/10

    My CV
    Piers Corbyn. ARCS, FRAS, FRMetS; * Media friendly CV October 2007
    Weather Action, Delta House, 175-177 Borough High St, SE1 1HR.
    Tels 02079399946 / 07958713320

    Piers Corbyn, an astrophysicist, is the originator of the revolutionary Solar Weather Technique (SWT) of long range forecasting and founder of Weather Action Long Range forecasters. Following his necessary researches into the causes of weather change he totally rejects the CO2 based theory of Global Warming and Climate Change*.
    *He further shows that existing published researches demonstrates there is no evidence for the CO2 based theory -only evidence against.
    The significant skill of his long range weather forecasts have been independently verified in peer-reviewed publication – The Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics Vol 63 (2001) p29-34 by Denis Wheeler, University of Sunderland. More about his Solar Weather Technique and current research is available in conference papers via http://www.weatheraction.com or Weather Action’s European web site http://www.LoWeFo.com .

    His first scientific publications were on aspects of meteorology and astronomy – for work done while still at school. He won a Royal Scholarship to Imperial College London and gained a first class degree in Physics (with Theoretical Physics option in the final year) in 1968 and there carried out post-graduate researches into superconductivity and was elected as president of Imperial College Student Union for 1969-1970.

    He subsequently carried out astrophysics research at Queen Mary College London and published work on galaxy formation and the mean matter density of the universe.
    He later returned to meteorology and developed its connections with astrophysics and created his revolutionary Solar Weather Technique of long range forecasting.

    [*Associate of Royal College of Science = Honours graduate in Science from Imperial College;
    Fellow of Royal Astronomical Society (needs nomination and having a (higher) degree in related subject.); Fellow Of Royal Meteorological Society]

    Further details see over…

    Cool Contemporaries

    Also in Physics 1 Imperial College 1965 (and subsequent years} Brian May of Queen!

    In Imperial College at same time – notably 1969: Les Ebdon, now Vice chancellor University of Luton.

    Squatting in Westbourne Park (Maida Hill) 1972-1975 in Elgin Avenue part of the scene was also ‘The 101ers’ with Joe Strummer – squatters rock band which became The Clash

    Further details…

    Piers won a Royal scholarship to Imperial College London in 1965 ,
    - came top of the class in the first exam there.
    - obtained a first class honours degree in Physics from Imperial College in 1968
    - President Of Imperial College student Union 1969-1970 (and entertained HM Queen for Tea at IC in Autumn 1969)

    Piers has carried out research in superconductivity, cosmology, solar physics and Sun-Earth relations and (more recently) in Sun-Earth weather links and in Photosynthesis.
    He has lectured extensively in mathematics and Physics at South Bank University, Goldsmiths College (University of London) and other institutions.
    He holds an MSc in Astrophysics from Queen Mary College London.
    Piers has published various articles in scientific periodicals and made presentations at many international and prestigious conferences – see below. Articles in production and more business type conference proceedings not listed.

    1967 for work done while at school (Adam’s Grammar School, Newport Shropshire) and published two years later:-
    1967 March. The Geographical Journal pp54; The size and Shape of Pebbles on Chesil beach.
    1967 Sept. Weather (Journal of Royal Meteorological Society) pp378; A Brine Barometer and a True Mean Electrical Thermometer.
    1967 Oct. Journal of Brit Astronomical Association pp424; A simple Solar Experiment (re eccentricity of Earth’s orbit).
    These three papers involved some of the vast amount of practical / scientific things Piers got up to as child. {For interest Piers’ elder brother Andrew Corbyn – geophysicist – also did a lot of practical scientific work while at school. The eldest brother, David Edward, worked in Aeronautical engineering and the youngest, Jeremy, is Labour MP for Islington North}.
    His birthday March 10th 1947 was the day of the thaw with storms and gales after the great snows of Feb-March 1947 and marked by coincidentally by ‘The Great sunspot of 1947′! (See page 3 of: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/7.02/weather.html?pg=3&topic=&topic_set= )
    Piers’ first scientific ‘experiment’ of any size was done at the age of 8 years old when he dug what he described as ‘a dew pond’ in the garden (at Kingston St Michael, nr Chippenham Wiltshire). From 1956 to 1965 (when he went to IC) he lived near Newport Shropshire and did lots of scientific activity – with his own home made weather instruments and many other things.

    1984 Clusters and Groups Of Galaxies, F Mardirossian et al (eds) pp517; Cosmic String-Loops and galaxy formation – Angular Momentum and The Hubble Sequence.
    1986 Cosmologia Di Gamow, Proc of Enrico Fermi International School of Physics 1982 pp231; A Virial Approach to the Relation between the Cosmological Density Parameter Ωo and the Microwave background Temperature To. {Through this work Piers became acquainted with various researchers including Professor Martin Rees whose advise on neutrino temperatures is acknowledged in the paper.}

    Many invited Presentations on Sun-Earth Relations; Solar causes of Climate Change and Long range weather forecasting, including – most recent and significant only. {Insurance company, business in farming and Energy industry etc and more regular University presentations such as at University of Kent not listed. Presentations and Seminars involving Intellectual property of Solar Weather Technique also excluded):

    2004 Feb A Guest speaker at the Global Oil Summit Houston Texas;
    2004 July Russian Academy of Sciences International Forum on Climate Change as a guest speaker invited by the President of Russia’s Scientific Adviser Andrei Illarianov.
    2005 Feb Institute Of Physics, London.
    2006 June. Future Trends Forum Madrid.
    2006 Sept Stockholm. Climate Change Symposium.
    2007 June. Panellist along with Professor Richard Lindzen at Climate Change Seminar Institute Of Physics London.

  12. #12 Piers Corbyn
    2007/11/10

    And as for those bets. We offered these publicly at a meeting at the Dana Centre science museaum where I was guest speaker, and they were circulated in January. There were no takers. Offer still open for 2008, 2009…
    These challenges come from Piers Corbyn and Weather Action using the Solar Weather Technique.

    Weather Action’s significant forecast skill is independently proven.
    - See Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics Vol 63 (2001) p29-34 by Dennis Wheeler, University of Sunderland; and by significant profits on 12 years of Weather bets placed with William Hill at odds advised by Met Office and shortened by William Hill for their normal expected returns

    2007 will be a year of extremes and contrasts – between and within months. Such periods of extremes and contrasts happen around alternate solar activity minimums which come approx every 22 yrs (near the Odd cycle to Even cycle sunspot minimum)

    2007 UK / England Temperatures will not be highest ‘ever’.
    - We will bet anyone £1000 on this. (‘ever’ = historical records)

    2007 World Temperatures will not be the highest ‘ever’ (contrary to the expectations of some) – We will bet anyone £1000 on this.

    Detailed weather forecasting by the SWT is possible 2 years ahead.
    The SWT holds that all major cyclic /quasi-cyclic events of Earth’s weather – such as El Nino and Stratospheric wind switching (‘Quasi-Biennial Oscillation’) every 28 mths are of solar origin.

    New advance: SWT Climate outlook. In the 7yrs up to 2013 World average Temperature in any calendar year will not exceed the 1998 peak levels (95% confidence).
    The SWT could probably develop Climate forecasts decades ahead.

  13. #13 Piers Corbyn
    2007/11/10

    Facts on recent Storm and Storm surge…
    Storm surge assualt on coast defences was predicted by Weather Action Long range forecasters
    Latest News and comment on storm developments 8th Nov
    “Our long range serious storm warning for this period is now verified” said Piers Corbyn of Weather Action long range forecasters who predicted this storm event from 11 months ago to within a day using revolutionary solar particle and magnetic techniques.

    “Our update issued 3 weeks ago specifically warned of threats to sea defences now upon us”, he said. “As we predicted travel is being disrupted, there are serious threats – very likely breaches – to sea defences in East England and Europe and the most likely storm track which we spelt out in our mid-October update and repeated in the 30day update* is being followed.

    Our forecast correctly warned that Standard meteorology would underestimate wind strengths even from 24hours ahead. On Tuesday BBC News 24 Met forecast wind max gusts for Thursday of 60-70mph; on Wednesday the estimate was 70-80mph and on Thursday itself ‘up to 90mph”. There are many reports in excess of 80mph and the highest gust so far has been 108mph at North Rona in the Shetland Islands.”

    “We are in a very important solar-magnetic period” said Piers. “The corridor is now open for solar events and changes in Sun-Earth links to have maximum effect. Standard meteorology cannot keep up with events. It is now important to watch developments around Sunday 11th to Tuesday 13th. we are 90% confident that the Low pressure(s) forecast then for North of Britain will get more intense than standard meteorology expectations and winds will be stronger. As now this will be felt mainly in Northern parts of the British Isles and in Norway, Denmark and to some extend the Netherlands as the Low centre tracks East.
    “The serious storm we forecast for 24th-28th November is likely to follow a more generally Southerly and more damaging track through the British Isles and into Europe – esepcially Scnadinavia and Holland ”

    “These storms – and other extreme events we have also predcted around the world – are caused by solar activity and nothing to do with CO2 /Global Warming although doubtless such claims will be made. It is time those who propagate such baseless hype are challenged to produce evidence for their claims. Why should the public accept lower levels of integrity from scientists and environmental experts than they do from politicians?” said Piers

    *words below; e mail piers@weatheraction.com for full pdf of November forecast and storm track prediction map.

    8-12/13 Nov (later in Scandinavia): SEVERE DAMAGING STORMS at Sea and in Scotland and parts of NI and N England. A major destructive Storm develops with gusts over 90mph 50% likely in parts of North and tornado type events possible in many parts. Less windy in South.

    Travel disruption over land sea and air. Threats to sea defences in many places on winds and tides (New Moon 9th/10th gives higher tides). The storm centre will track East and likely bring damage to a band of mainly Scandinavia which includes (75% confident) Bergen, Oslo, Stockholm, & possibly (40%) Helsinki & St Petersburg.

    Max Gust level probabilities forecast for Scotland, North of Northern Ireland and NE England and sea/islands (eg for top most gusts) >70mph 85%; > 90mph 50%; >110mph 15%

    Hot News links:
    The Scotsman 8th November 2007 GALE force winds battered Scotland today, causing delays and disruption for commuters. Bridges were closed and ferry services cancelled as gusts of up to 90mph were expected to hit the north of the country. http://news.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=1776202007

    Flood threats SKY Link quoting Minister Hilary Benn and Forecaster Francis Wilson.
    East Coast and Rotterdam coasts under serious danger on morning 9th November.
    Thames barrier to be closed.
    http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30100-1292155,00.html

    COASTAL FLOOD THREATS British Cabinet Office Emergency Committee ‘COBRA’ meets http://uk.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUKL0862102620071108

    8 severe flood warnings, 10 flood warnings, 24 flood watches….(at 21.00hrs, it just went up…)
    http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/subjects/flood/floodwarning/?lang=_e

    Oil companies brace for North Sea storm by cutting staff, production at 2 fields
    http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/11/06/business/EU-FIN-Norway-Oil-Production.php

    Norway link http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article2087477.ece

    Well known Blog for Holland
    http://pietpaulusma.sbs6.nl/piets-blog-algemeen/knmi-houdt-superstorm-voor-mogelijk.html

    E mail from Holland Hi Piers Superstorm Corbyn …Watch this video: they talk about you (hope your dutch is OK…)
    http://cgi.omroep.nl/cgi-bin/streams?/id/VARA/serie/VARA_101141604/VARA_101157298/bb.20071107.asf?start=0:0:95.1&end=0:0:626

    Email to Weather Action from NW Scotland Coast morning 8th Nov 2007..”…The winds are building…. The end of Oct prediction** was correct and tonight into tomorrow morning is correct again. Heaven help us for the end of Nov! We survived the Jan 2005 storm reaching wind speeds of 120mph, extremely scary night, we lost electric for 4 days after with alot of damage done to property, particuarly roofs all around my immediate local area. It’s about to get wild! Over and out ….
    (**from Weather Action for rain/wind storms centred on weekend 27-28 Nov)

    Comment, 7th Nov, from Piers Corbyn of Weather Action:
    “The developing storm is excellently following our forecast first produced 11 months ago and updated with some small change in mid-October. The timing is correct to within a day. The storm ferocity is as extreme as we warned (and because of its ferocity it now has an official name – Andrea). The track (which we amended to a bit further North in the 45day ahead update) is also accurate.
    As we warned this storm is hitting NORWAY hard. This is ironic and wholly appropriate in view of the fact that the Norway-centred Nobel Prize committee gave a prize to Al Gore for his film which propagates false science.
    The fact is that solar particle and magnetic activity NOT CO2 drives weather and climate; that is how we can make reliable long range forecasts while CO2 and standard meteorology cannot. Will the Nobel committee now review their award?
    Some forecasters who use standard meteorology are very impressed by Weather Action long range forecasts but at the same time certain leading lights in the environment and meteorology fields in continental Europe have made ill-informed and rude remarks. I suggest that they allow events rather than their prejudices to test the science of our forecasts and work to ensure the public are safe rather than misled.”

    NOTE TO MEDIA and bloggers

    Any reportage of this forecast must acknowledge Weather Action and accurately reflect the actual forecast made by Weather Action.

    These forecasts are produced using Weather Action’s Solar Weather Technique of long range Forecasting which depends on predictable aspects of solar particle and magnetic effects and are nothing to do with CO2. The extreme rain and wind events this November are caused by solar magnetic effects and are not a consequence of CO2/’Climate Change’. We request media to make this fact clear.

    AVAILABLE ON REQUEST – email info@weatheraction.com
    => WeatherAction November forecast (includes storm deatils) and Wind probability forecast also visit http://www.lowefo.com
    => British Isles summer forecasts and letter to Gordon Brown and ASSESSMENT
    {for a wet summer with floods – showing11/11 success rate for flood periods in British Isles forecast, 10/11 England only)
    => Refutation of claims by Professor Lockwood that Solar activity has no importance in weather and climate => Full 44 slides by Piers Corbyn as produced for Institute Of Physics Climate Change seminar 7th June
    ++++End++++

  14. #14 Eli Rabett
    2007/11/11

    Corbyn is abd?

    [Beg pardon? -W]

  15. #15 Eli Rabett
    2007/11/11

    all but dissertation

    [Ah, not a common phrase over here. What makes you think he did any postgraduate course? -W]

  16. #16 Eli Rabett
    2007/11/11

    Almost had you on the ropes with an abbreviation:)

    “He has lectured extensively in mathematics and Physics at South Bank University, Goldsmiths College (University of London) and other institutions.
    He holds an MSc in Astrophysics from Queen Mary College London.”

    I am not totally sure of the deal over there, but in the US an MSc in Physics is sort of a consolation prize, but I wonder about the lecturing part. Even for adjuncts, I would think they would want more than an MSc.

    [Just going for an MSc is quite possible, many do. Lecturing... hard to tell quite what that means -W]

  17. #17 inel
    2007/11/14

    ABD would result in a Diploma in Astrophysics, not an MSc, I believe.

    Current information on MSc in Astrophysics from
    Queen Mary University of London is here:

    http://www.maths.qmul.ac.uk/postgraduate/msc/index.shtml

    Nowadays it seems to be a one-year Science and Engineering foundation course, normally taken following successful completion of an undergraduate degree.

    Having said that, Piers Corbyn’s post-nominal letters are hard to fathom.

    He has an undergraduate degree in science from Imperial College, which should entitle him to use BSc ARCS. Then he has a 1-year MSc from Queen Mary University of London.

    So, he should be signing himself as BSc ARCS MSc if he has been awarded those degrees. I don’t understand why he doesn’t!

    ARCS is an honorary title, or recognition of association–similar to Oxon and Cantab I think–that is intended to be used by Imperial College graduates to show where they studied. It is listed after the abbreviation for their Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in science (which itself is awarded by the University of London).

    However, Piers Corbyn does not write BSc ARCS MSc. He just writes ARCS. That is like me signing myself (Oxon) without BA (Hons) or MA in front. Does anyone else find this peculiar, or is it just me?!

    Perhaps you could ask Piers Corbyn how he gets his post-nominals, next time he signs in, please William? My own humble letters look more like alphabet soup with OXO thrown in ;-)

    [Piers seems to be a post-and-run-er; I've had nothing from him since, despite a direct email; and neither has Brian I think. Quite how he expects anyone to respond to his bets when he won't answer mail I don't know. In the past he has simply said he gets a lot of spam -W]

  18. #18 James Annan
    2007/11/14

    Piers seems to be a post-and-run-er; I’ve had nothing from him since, despite a direct email

    Wahey! I win my bottle of whisky, even sooner than I expected :-)

    [Ah, don't give up on him just yet. And your unsubtle attempt to bump a bottle of beer up into a bottle of whiskey will not work -W]

  19. #19 Adam
    2007/11/15

    “Piers seems to be a post-and-run-er; I’ve had nothing from him since, despite a direct email”

    He posted a very similar blast on the forum at “The Weather Outlook”. It seems to be mainly cut and paste. He also defended his lack of transparency by making an analogy to Coca-Cola and their secret recipe. Which seems a little contrived (I don’t drink Coke though, so it doesn’t work for me).

  20. #20 Eli Rabett
    2007/11/15

    I;m with Inel, there is something weird in that description as if he is tip toeing around some point or exaggerating in a useful to him manner.

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  23. #23 Hank Roberts
    2009/10/11

    Well, he’s apparently now one of the BBC’s quotable experts:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8299079.stm

    “it is true. For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures.
    … solar scientist Piers Corbyn from Weatheraction, a company specialising in long range weather forecasting, disagrees.

    He claims that solar charged particles impact us far more than is currently accepted, so much so he says that they are almost entirely responsible for what happens to global temperatures.

    He is so excited by what he has discovered that he plans to tell the international scientific community at a conference in London at the end of the month.

    If proved correct, this could revolutionise the whole subject. ….”

    [Um well Piers has been saying this for ages but no-one believes him. Quite why the BBC is now bothering is anyones guess -W]

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