Why did they say such a silly thing? Because they had a shiny new computer that told them to.
Fresh-faced and excited from the new multi-billion pound supercomputer that they’d just received, one of the forecasters from the Met Office gave an interview to the Guardian newspaper in 2006 in which he boasted of the accuracy of this new bit of kit:
With research and advances in computing I think weather forecasts are becoming more accurate. The Met Office’s supercomputer plays a large part in my life. From thousands of bits of data collected by satellites, weather balloons and the global weather observing network, it builds up a picture of the current state of the atmosphere. We run model simulations of the atmosphere, which is what all forecasts are based on.
Some people wonder if our hot summers are due to global warming. The scientific consensus is that humans are contributing to the greenhouse effect, leading to global warming. When you speak to elderly people they often comment that the seasons are different to when they were younger, particularly when it comes to snow. One of the predictions over the coming decade is that snow will become less frequent in the British Isles; we are expecting milder winters.
Dr Geoff Jenkins, Head of Climate Prediction at the Meteorological Office (stop laughing) said that mild and wet winters are exactly what they were expecting due to global warming:
Dr Geoff Jenkins, the head of climate prediction at the Met Office’s Hadley Centre in Exeter, believes the mild, wet winter is almost certainly a sign of global warming.
“The cold snap last week was normal January weather, there was nothing exceptional about it,” he said.
“The exceptional thing has been the warmth we have had in the first week of February. It would not be unreasonable to say that this is linked to human activity.”
Haven’t heard from him recently though . . .