MET Office global temperature prediction falls 0.35C in 5 years.

Posted: February 3, 2021 by tallbloke in Analysis, climate, data, Dataset, ENSO, Forecasting, MET office, methodology, modelling, Natural Variation, Ocean dynamics, Solar physics

Back in 2016, the UK MET Office’s median projection to the start of 2021 forecast a global temperature temperature anomaly of 1.4C above their 1850-1900 “Pre-Industrial” baseline. Their recently published five year model projection (rightmost blue blob on graph), shows a 2021 median anomaly 0.35C lower, at 1.05C.

Their HADcruT 4GL temperature time series (data since 2016 added in red on graph) shows a linear trend of +0.09C/semi-decade for the last 50 years. CO2, by far the biggest forcing in their model, is still rising in lockstep with the 50 year temperature trend. What could have caused this remarkable downward step change in their model output?

Despite the fact the MET Office consumes vast sums of public money (a large chunk of it to pay for super-computers to run their models on), there is little transparency, so we’ll have to speculate with some informed guesswork. Here are a few possibilities.

1). The MET Office might have realised that since the high altitude water vapour feedback to increasing CO2 their model has previously relied on to project its worrying future trends hasn’t happened, they needed to remove or at least reparameterise it in their model input.

Fig 2. Specific humidity at various atmospheric pressures

Specific humidity at 300mb (just below the tropopause) has actually been falling, not rising, since around 1960. This is because its level isn’t a feedback to CO2 at all, but to solar activity, as I discovered 10 years ago.

Fig 3. Specific humidity vs Sunspot number.

2) Maybe The MET Office has realised that solar activity levels have a much bigger effect on global temperature than they previously thought. It’s becoming clear that the Sun has played the principle role in climate change. Back in 2007, I pioneered a technique for relating solar activity to ocean heat content, and thus sea surface temperature (SST). Using an empirical method to determine the monthly sunspot number (SSN) at which the high heat capacity oceans neither gained nor lost energy, I integrated the solar data using this value as the departure point and found a good correlation with global temperature change over the C20th. The same technique was later used by a talkshop contributor to correlate the reconstructed Solar TSI integral with Michael Mann’s 2008 reconstruction of global temperature since 1200AD.

Fig 4. Global temperature VS Total Solar Irradiance integral

Looking at the new projection from the MET Office, it’s clear that their model predicts that there is going to be a very large El Nino event peak by Christmas next year. But then, their previous five year model projection predicted a similarly high peak, potentially breaching the much hyped “1.5C above pre-industrial” in late 2018, which failed to materialise. If that damp squib was due to the reduction in solar activity, maybe the MET Office should start taking more notice of the solar prediction made by the Talkshop team’s Rick Salvador in 2013, because if it’s correct, cycle 25 will be exceptionally low.

It’s always possible we’ll get a big El Nino as often happens when solar activity is low. The big El Nino’s of 1988, 1998 and 2010 all occurred soon after solar minimum, and the Sun is remaining persistently inactive at the moment. Here’s the latest from

Fig 6. Solar activity remains very low in 2021. Monthly SSN is around 16.

If there is a big El Nino event, I suspect that it will be followed by a big drop in global temperature. The Sun’s output has been below the level that maintains ocean heat content for a lot of the C21st, and that will start to have an effect soon, as excess energy built up during the high solar cycles of the later C20th dissipates.

Don’t sell your coat.

  1. angech says:

    Spreading the word about changes at other venerable institutions.
    Sort of, it is Australian so hardly venerable.
    “Climate Driver Update
    Climate drivers in the Pacific, Indian and Southern oceans and the Tropics
    2 February 2021
    The 2020–21 La Niña has likely passed its peak, with all of the international climate models surveyed by the Bureau anticipating NINO3.4
    will return to borderline or neutral values by mid-autumn.
    The graph shows 7, count them, Climate models.
    A change from the 19/1/2021 Climate Driver Update which featured 8 international climate models.
    Only NASA.
    Why? Surely not because NASA correctly predicted the moderate La Nina and had the temerity to predict
    that it would keep going for at least 4 months”

    Temperature is a funny thing.
    When the temperature drops noticeably worldwide it is a bit hard to blame local events as causative.
    Thank you for the post.

  2. The predictions that they make rely on El Nino’s to raise the empirical temperature to their modelled data. Perhaps they are not going to be a regular as they need….

  3. oldbrew says:

    There is still a very poor understanding of the correlation between low sunspot activity and cooling temperatures. During the period 1645–1715, in the middle of the Little Ice Age, there was a period of low solar activity known as the Maunder Minimum. The Spörer Minimum has also been identified with a significant cooling period between 1460 and 1550. Other indicators of low solar activity during this period are levels of the isotopes carbon-14 and beryllium-10.
    – – –
    What might low solar activity have to offer this time round, if it lasts for a while?

  4. oldbrew says:

    BBC weather forecasters predict ‘disruptive snow’ moving as far south as central England at the weekend.

    Met Office says ‘more snow on the way’.
    Our 6-30 day forecast currently points to the likelihood of cold conditions continuing into mid-February.

    Then for the second half of February:
    Disruptive wintry hazards continue to be a greater than normal threat during this period.
    – – –
    Doesn’t sound like anything warmists would expect.

  5. Chaswarnertoo says:

    Slingo can’t even keep her lies straight.

  6. Gamecock says:

    ‘MET Office global temperature prediction falls 0.35C in 5 years.’

    The future isn’t what it used to be.

  7. pochas94 says:

    “Maybe The MET Office has realised that solar activity levels have a much bigger effect on global temperature than they previously thought.”

    Don’t count on it. If natural variability controls climate they are out of a job.

  8. Phoenix44 says:

    The stepwise nature of the increases is shown pretty clearly in that graph, particularly the Pause followed by a sharp spike that “resets” temperatures to the forecast.

    What spikes up can can come down.

  9. avro607 says:

    I read on a site somewhere(Chiefio) I think,that a low Sunspot count,means more IR RADIATION,and less UV RADIATION.So,the deeper ocean depths receive less UV HEATING,and the top few metres or so warm more readily from the IR. Thus a fairly quick increase of evaporation,and a slower take up of heat into the deeper waters.
    Depending on the length of the sunspot minimum,more cloud,less sunshine,cooling oceans.maybe Ice Age cometh.Dont know,just speculating.
    Was the Chiefio right or wrong?

  10. tallbloke says:

    Avro: the proportions of IR and UV change, but the total solar irradiance reduces near solar minimum. That allows more galactic cosmic rays into the inner solar system, and according to Svensmark’s theory, that seeds more cloud, reducing surface temperature. We’re moving into a lower solar activity regime that will continue to the end of the century according to our predictive model. How much that will affect climate remains to be seen, but historical precedent indicates we could be in for cooler times ahead.

  11. Paul Vaughan says:

    The sun controls the climate but no matter happens the mainstream cannot and will not see it.

  12. Paul Vaughan says:

    typo: … no matter what happens …

  13. Dodgy Geezer says:

    Perhaps they have just noticed that the AMO is in its downward state, and temperatures are going to be dropping for the next 15 – 18 years…?

  14. tallbloke says:

    From the current decadal forecast page at

    “Previous predictions at 5-year intervals starting from November 1960 and through to 2010 are shown in red.”

    You’ll notice they didn’t want to show us the 2016-2021 prediction (and they do call it a prediction). I had to add it to the headline figure in the post.

  15. oldbrew says:

    Temp nothingburger confirmed…

    UAH Global Temperature Update for January 2021: +0.12 deg. C (new base period)
    February 2nd, 2021 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.
    – – –
    Nothing for warmists to see there – move along. NH is up, SH is down.

    Jan. 2021 monthly report will appear here soon:

  16. avro607 says:

    Thanks TB for the reply. I guess that I had not considered Svensmark.

  17. oldbrew says:

    Someone posted a video of the Met Office’s pretend summer 2050 weather forecast here…
    – – –
    No prizes for guessing the contents.

  18. Paul Vaughan says:

    The Par Tee

    “1000 year model” misses long variations (e.g. ‘980’, ‘2400’).
    Misconception of AMO (66) ignores 96 (going down S-pole & up N-pole).

    Wrong think trap line “con troll the opposition” buy lincoln project branch of us dem party.

    Sober luminaries: stay aware of what ingredients are miss sun in “ch-ill” bet$snare rat ave. knew.

  19. Paul Vaughan says:

    You can see the lincoln project wing of the us dem party lining up a Boris (as in backs tab).

    We’re going to have to start a new party — a party of peace, financial equality (so the threat of financial terrorism can be strictly ruled out), no luck D-owns, and climate truth allowed (in parallel with the environment being protected for true and good reasons).

    They’re getting too devilish. In the US, establishment groups will use every linguistic trick in the book (veiled baiting and then they’re quick on the offense to pin responsibility on others who muster only a slow and ineffective self-defense) to trigger violence (preying opportunistically on weaker minds that have an earlier snapping-point). We need a peaceful alternative to such immoral deep state trickery. Superior self-restraint in the face of their aggressive provocation is now a distinguishing badge of honor.

    We should still try to have safe, fun free speech — and certainly we will. But this dying “alliance” with the establishment has degenerated into a membership in “The Party”.

    They pretend “populist conspiracy theories” weren’t a blue-collar response (“taste of your own medicine” “see what it feels like” educational campaign) to white-collar ignorance and deception. Of course some will bristle because their sneering condescension does not permit them to see that way (hard-wiring strictly unaffected by debate). They will thus be incapable of fostering true unity. Someone else will do it.

    This isn’t the most important thing that could be done, but it’s the right time to suggest a rather benign, mostly-symbolic act to the establishment so we can further assess their (so far failing) sincerity about “unity”: Authoritatively reveal the simple recipe for ENSO so naive but otherwise intelligent people can first see a true long-run zero-sum process acknowledged. Certainly all the advanced militaries of the world should by now hold (and have shared with each other) the key.

  20. David A says:

    Tallbloke, great post! Here is a recent reconstruction…

    Your specific humidity to sunspot graphic is very impressive as is this…
    ” Back in 2007, I pioneered a technique for relating solar activity to ocean heat content, and thus sea surface temperature (SST). Using an empirical method to determine the monthly sunspot number (SSN) at which the high heat capacity oceans neither gained nor lost energy.”

    As we now have actual TSI WsqM numbers, could that be incorporated into a similar Graphic?

    Wow, Tallbloke, that is real science!. As the atmosphere is a thin sandwich between very energetic solar insolation, and the oceans that hold what, a thousand times the heat content of the atmosphere, the ocean energy flux in combination with solar flux is easily the most logical place to look for potent atmospheric climate affects.

    Please consider that Avro’s question – assertion, may be quite orthogonal to the Svensmark theory. While cloud cover clearly has a potent and relatively rapid affect on ocean heat flux and surface T, the TSI wavelength flux may well have its own contributing factors, on a decadal or multi decadal time scale, to OHC.

    While TSI varies little, solar wavelength varies considerably, and this can be multi year, and even multi decadal variations.

    The wavelength flux may ALSO very well affect cloud formation, as well as the amount of surface insolation entering the oceans, and the residence time of said energy entering the oceans.

    This energy input residence time is critical, as wavelength affects the depth of ocean below surface penetration, so disparate WL insolation has variable residence time in the oceans below the surface. (Thus zero instant affect on atmospheric T until said below the surface energy escapes the ocean heat sink)

    The longer the residence time, the greater affect a small energy flux can have, with said energy potentially accumalating minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, month by month, year by year or more, if said residence time is that long.

    As solar insolation penetrates up to 800′ into the oceans, even a relatively small change in wavelength insolation can, over a LONG ocean energy residence time and long term solar flux, lead to a significant change in acumalated below the surface energy, positive or negative.

    This may ultimately manifest as warmer or cooler ocean currents in well known Atlantic and Pacific patterns. Also keep in mind this SW photonic energy is highly energetic. ( It matters.)

    As far as I know, and I asked Leif S, and he said he had no idea, the below surface ocean residence time of disparate solar WL is unknown, unmeasured, and not considered.

    All the Best…

  21. oldbrew says:

    the Sun is remaining persistently inactive at the moment.

    The only time it wasn’t, in recent months, was around the time when Jupiter aligned with Saturn and the Sun in November.

  22. Bloke down the pub says:

    ‘The same technique was later used by a talkshop contributor to correlate the reconstructed Solar TSI integral with Michael Mann’s 2008 reconstruction of global temperature since 1200AD.

    Well that should invalidate it for starters. smirk

  23. Paul Vaughan says:

    The new party will have to move quite far left to create the needed balance. Natural climate variations are a formidable security threat. The right presently does not have the public’s trust on security matters. Security is a bipartisan concern. May peace be with you.

  24. Paul Vaughan says:

    To be more clear: I suggest sensible blue-collar populists denounce violence and move quite far left, leaving the establishment wing (the “lincoln project” white-collar crew) farthest right.

    This arrangement would foster acceptance of climate truth, which will help secure peace.

    It’s important to be ready for right-wing unity too. We should be ready for either path.

    The best “no man’s land” for populists weather left or right is in between establishment groups.

  25. David A says:

    Regarding my comment above concerning residence time of solar insolation entering the oceans, I have trouble finding any studies cogent to this, or attempting to understand how a multi decadal solar flux, like the Mauder Minimum, may affect ocean heat content. Answers to how much disparate W/L solar energy enters into the mixing layer of the oceans are somewhat existent, yet I find nothing on the residence time of said energy input, and the accumslated loss or gain over multi decadal solar variables.

    Here is a 2005 study “Penetration of solar radiation in the upper ocean: A numerical model for oceanic and coastal waters.”. which provides a decent study on the disparate inputs…

  26. Paul Vaughan says:

    David, the piece of the puzzle most climate commentators miss is heat-engines (equator-pole & pole-pole), which pump to places with masses of ice.

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