Corbyns cr*p predictions

Its been obvious for quite a while that there is no trend in solar to explain climate trends; this is the bleedin’ obvious but Lockwood managed to get a paper out of it a while back. Of course neither paper nor data will affect the wild-eyed fringe, as Piers Corbyn demonstrates by tilting at windmills in the Grauniad letters page.

Corbyn also doesn’t undertand the difference between weather and climate, but is bold enough to use his technique to make predictions, such as there will be periods of major thunderstorms, hail and further flooding in Britain, most notably July 22-26, August 5-9 and August 18-23. I can’t remember 22-26, but since the letter was published on the 24th thats not impressive long-term prediction. 5-9th was a bust, obviously, and as for 22-26th we shall see.

[I see that Keith Shine has already refuted PC’s nonsense; and someone else points out that his prediction is already wrong]


  1. #1 Nathan Rive

    I’m glad the Guardian printed a letter pointing out his ridiculously wrong prediction. I hadn’t seen it before.

    I just found this page which prints PC’s full Aug prediction. Funniest is this:

    Severe (Brit Is) weather warnings: Notably wet or very wet spells, thunderstorms, floods, hail and enhanced tornado risk: 5th-9/10th, 14th-15th 18th-23rd 27th-29th (5-9/10 &18-23 = highest threat). Trop Storm remnants also poss 18-23rd & 27-29th.

    It would appear his strategy is to declare every day rainy, and throw in a tornado here and there. He’s bound to be right sometime.

  2. #2 Luboš Motl

    The real reason why climate realists won’t be affected by the paper by Lockwood et al. if that it is meaningless especially because the authors don’t understand heat capacity, much like you, and other essential concepts of climate science. See what Prof Nir Shaviv has to say about it:

  3. #3 Alex

    I should point out that in his last intervention in the press, Corbyn did make one prediction that is certain to be correct; he said, in mid-July, that British temperatures would fall during the rest of 2007.

  4. #4 Nathan Rive

    My comment seems to be stuck in the queue. I’ll try without links.
    Lubos – Invoking a lag seems to be a rather new phenomenon. Lassen and Friis-Christensen didn’t mention it in 1995 [J. Atmos. Terr. Phys. 57 (8): 835-845(11)], and neither did Durkin in TGGWS when he used their data:

    So how does this fit in with Shaviv’s statement?

  5. #5 Adam

    “he said, in mid-July, that British temperatures would fall during the rest of 2007.”

    He (also?) said that one day in July (22nd?) where the temperature broke 26C in Kent would the “one day” of the summer. The fact that it wasn’t especially summery all over the country that day and very soon afterwards we had a generally summery day all over except the NW of Scotland and N NI, shows, followed by another four days of generally summery weather. There’s (yet another) thread on UKWW about it.

  6. #6 JamesG

    Nathan – As written by E. Zorita in the Nature Climate Feedback blog: “in a paper by Waple, Mann and Bradley (Climate Dynamics vol 18, 563 ; 2002) a lag between solar irradiance and global mean surface temperature of about 10-15 years has been identified. This would mean that if last solar grand maximum took place in 1985, the corresponding maximum of the temperature response would have occurred between 1995 and 2000”.

  7. #7 Nathan Rive

    James – Thanks for the comment. But if there is a lag, what do we do with the Friis-Christensen and Lassen work?

  8. #8 guthrie

    As far as I can see, the temperature trend is still up, making nonsense of any claims that such a lag exists.

  9. #9 JamesG

    Nathan: No doubt Lassen will reply to that but I see Solanki shows a lag, with Shaviv-Veizer and WMB2002 that makes 3 out of 4. As Hadley have now predicted a plateauing of temperature it looks like they have incorporated the effect of the Sun too. Why all the negativity though? Climate models cannot predict clouds well, maybe these experiments will show a good way to do it?
    Guthrie: The shape of an averaged graph depends on the end slope. Make that slope zero and the fit to the data is actually better. There is no way of making the amplitude the same but neither Svensmark, Shaviv, Friis-Christensen or Larsen have said that CO2 has no effect on climate – just a bit less than is currently claimed. Good news no?

  10. #10 guthrie

    Yes, in a way, but it doesn’t lessen the need for action. Moreover, this whole lag after solar maximum thing is not exactly proven. Evenjust eyeballing the graphs, it is clear that temperature and solar insolation/ activity proxies run pretty much parallel, with no time lag apparent, or if there is, it’s amplitude is not very much. So, my point regarding upwards temperature trends still stands.

  11. #11 Dean Morrison

    I’d started a thread on this on Ben Goldacre’s ‘Bad Science’ forum.

    As well as reporting his periods of bad weather plus ‘day or two either side’ plus a degree or two South or North, plus mentioning the New and Full Moons, plus the days around the high tides three days later – Corbyn effectively blanketed the whole of a period from early August to September, over an area from Paris to Newcastle, with his prediction.

    He also said that high river levels in the Thames would combine with high tides to cause flooding in London. For that to happen there would have to be storm surge big enough to overtop the Thames Barrier.

    Spring tide was yesterday – and there wasn’t a single ‘flood watch’ (the lowest level of warning) in the whole of Thames Region…..

  12. #12 Adam

    I think Corbyn uses an astrology-like approach to forecasting. Make it general enough and people will fit it and the results to claim reasonable success. Concentrate on specifics though and it suddenly loses a lot.

  13. #13 Nathan Rive

    James – can you point me to Solanki citing that the lag is relevant to current warming? I have yet to see a graph that shows the sun-dT correlation in the past (with lag), and shows how changes in the solar irradiance/cosmic ray flux would then have predicted the post-1970 warming.

    The links below from Solanki indicate a lag, which is reasonable, but none would predict the current warming – even with a lag.

  14. #14 Dean Morrison

    The forecast we are discussing at ‘Bad Science’ is one from the Yorkshire Post:

    “Piers Corbyn, a weather forecaster who is politely called a maverick, but who has made a living out of his skills for more than a decade, has been saying for some time that the UK should stand by for another bout of major thunderstorms, hail and flooding, between Sunday, August 5, and Thursday, August 9.

    And yet another between Saturday, August 18 and Thursday, August 23.

    The rain is likely to fall mainly on the South and Midlands but the whole of England is at risk.

    Corbyn added, in a letter to the new Prime Minister last week: “Met Office computer models will under-estimate severity, even from only 12 hours ahead.

    “The high tides associated with the new moon on August 12 and the full moon on August 28 mean that with the heightened level of the Thames in days following these very wet periods, there is serious risk of flooding in London.”

    Corbyn says his detailed predictions might move a day or two either way, and a degree or two north or south, as we get closer to the dates, because of shifts in the high-altitude jet stream, which both he and his rivals in the Met Office agree has been a major influence on this soggy summer.”

    I suspect Corbyn tcuks away variants of his forecasts in different spots – and then pulls out the one that is most ‘accurate’ after the event???

  15. #15 Gareth

    Corbyn’s “techniques” sound eerily similar to those of NZ’s “moon man” Ken Ring. Ring admits to using astrology (but only under duress), but the caveats he uses are very similar (days either side, etc and etc). I did an exhaustive analysis of Ring’s work last year (Ringworld). Anyone done the same for Corbyn?

  16. #16 JamesG

    Nathan: Solanki is clear in stating that the sun cannot explain current warming but he did suggest that it could do so up to 1985 or so. That idea alone would need adjustments to most models if true. No, lag or not, the sun’s effect cannot match the graph for the last 20 years but the effect of the sun is still probably more important than assumed by the IPCC. I say that because we can be sure that none of the solar data is faked (precisely because those 20 years don’t match) so we should take the connection seriously and not just dismiss the entire theory on the basis of those 20 years. It looks to me that Hadley have already done that by predicting a leveling off which must surely be due to the sun. However, I am still somewhat dubious about the GISS graph bearing in mind the steepness is largely due to arctic data and yet Polyakov’s data argues that the arctic was just as warm in the 30’s. Some attempt at rapprochement should have been made between the different datasets don’t you think?

  17. #17 JamesG

    Guthrie: There seems to be a popular theory that nothing is currently being done about CO2 reduction but the fact is that a lot of engineers are working hard on it and investors and governments are spending a lot of money on it. However things do take time. Frankly Hansen’s shrill warnings about tipping points do more harm than good by shifting the focus from alternative energies to carbon capture (and equally silly ideas).

  18. #18 Nathan Rive

    JamesG – Now you’re just changing the subject. So you agree the ‘lag’ criticism of Lockwood and Frolich’s thesis is pretty weak: solar activity cannot explain the warming in the last 20 years.

    In fact, if you see Damon and Laut’s stuff, you’ll see that the correlation isn’t that strong in the last 50 years (I think), but pretty good before that. Which makes sense wrt anthropogenic forcing.

  19. #19 JamesG

    Nathan: And you avoided a tricky question:) But it’s really the same subject. William quoted a paper saying that Willie Soon had matched up Polyakov with the Sun’s activity. And it might be speculative but some say the GISS data is a bit iffy. Lasson replied quite robustly to Damon and Laut and seems to have refuted everything they concluded – it’s online – so 1985 is still on the table. I have no problem blaming AGW from 1985 – but is a large portion of that warming still due to the Sun? Maybe the CLOUD experiment will tell us.

  20. #20 guthrie

    JamesG- I am aware of various things being done to reduce CO2, for example my workplace is signing up for the climate change levy, and I also read some of the environmental managers magazines. However faced with the kind of know nothing blowhards I keep running into on internet forums, for example the Scotsman newspaper one, it is hard enough to tell them that yes its happening and its mostly our fault, let alone start getting specific about what is being done already.

  21. #21 Dean Morrison

    Final verdict then??

    … Corbyn was disastrously wrong – although I’m sure this will be quietly forgotten by the next ‘news’ editor who want’s to pad out the paper with some comic relief, in return for free advertising of Corbyn’s ‘services’…

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