Hadley Climate Centre 2003: “89% Less Snow for Scotland”

Don’t you just love that: “89%”? Gives it that touch of pseudo-scientific accuracy and certainty.

This one comes from The Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, which is part of the UK Met Office, and is dated 2003. The Hadley Centre had produced a report for the British-Irish council which found that

“average snowfall could decrease by up to 89%”

This gave Dr Richard Dixon, Head of Policy for WWF Scotland an opportunity to speculate that:

“It even begins to answer the question of whether life itself will be tenable in the Scottish Islands in 100 years time.”

Quite why the absence of snow and a rise in temperature of between 1.8 and 2.2 degrees would make Scotland’s highlands and islands less habitable rather than more is not quite clear. Perhaps he was concerned that the “highlands” might be flooded.

Source:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/3092833.stm


22 responses to “Hadley Climate Centre 2003: “89% Less Snow for Scotland”

  1. It makes one wonder, if one wants to become a climatologist and work for the government (British) global warming industry, does one have to have a sense of humour bypass?
    Can they not see how ridiculous a statement, that is?

    It’s no wonder, when challenged, they act like petulant children, because that is all they are, puerile nerds who never grew up.

  2. According to the Iain Stewart programme about Scotland’s landscape, when Scotland was couple of dgrees warmer in the iron age (or bronze age, I can’t remember the details) agriculture flourished in the far north of Scotland. It ceased when temperatures took a nose-dive. Dixon is clearly an imbecile. He got his doctorate in astronomy and has never had a real job, so perhaps that explains his weird statement.

  3. Breath of fresh air

    There was a program on the BBC earlier this week on walking the Hebrides, it included an interview with a retired Clergyman, before the improved links with the mainland in the summer you worked every hour of daylight to grow & gather the food required for you and your beasts in Winter. In the winter you rested as the hours of daylight were so short nothing could be done but eating, feeding and keeping the fires going.

    So a warmer summer would increase crop yields and a warmer winter would reduce the fuel required.

  4. Some history about the Russian heatwaves and fires (you’ll have to translate it to English but it’s worth it)



  5. Can someone help me out here please.

    I’ve just been reading in on a comment thread for the Telegraph http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tomchivers/100050213/joe-bastardi-has-a-wonderful-name-but-hes-still-wrong-about-global-warming/ and the thought occurred to me that I don’t recall ever seeing a statement/opinion (from someone who knows about this cos I don’t) as to what the global AVERAGE temperatures were during the last ice-age and those before.

    If it’s a silly question I apologise unreservedly…..I’m curious that’s all.

    Can someone assist?

  6. Shin et al. (2009a), using a prediction model, predicted that if temperature rises
    by 3 [degrees] in the 2050s and by 5 [degrees] in the 2080s, occurrence of food poisoning will increase by 15.8% and 26.4% respectively, and the number of patients will also increase by 35.3% and 49.4% respectively.

    – from the Korean local IPCC report, ‘NIER’.

  7. Ah, Dr Richard Dixon, my nemesis. Such a source of information on global warming. Hasn’t he been quiet lately?

  8. I wonder just what exactly was that magical stopper prevented it from crossing over to the dreaded “90%” tipping-point.

  9. Correction please:

    You say:

    “Hadley Climate Centre 2003: “89% Less Snow for Scotland”
    Posted on December 29, 2010 by hauntingthelibrary

    Don’t you just love that: “89%”? Gives it that touch of pseudo-scientific accuracy and certainty.”

    The actual quote, which you post yourself, is:

    “average snowfall could decrease by up to 89%”

    You did not represent them accurately in the first quote above. They did not say that there would be 89% less snow, as you imply with your “pseudo-scientific accuracy and certainty” crack. All the article says is that the high end of their estimate was 89% less snow. The article – as is typical with the media – gave only the extreme value, not the central, most likely value, and not the range and probability of those values. In any case, you paraphrased and made up a quote that did not exist.

    When you criticize others, you need to keep your own work honest. Please correct your false quote and note the correction.

    • Well, I would criticise any scientific article that used that weasel phrase “up to” to characterise its main conclusion. “Up to 89%” could mean 89%, or 5%, or -10%, or -100% (which seems closer to the right figure).

      When advertisers write, “Up to 60% fewer wrinkles”, we know they want to appear to say something impressive, but say nothing really. Scientists should know better

    • This is a joke, PFW?

      Funny if satire, hilarious if not –


  10. “some” history about insect (mountain pine beetle etc.) and forests in the US (book from 1909)


    I hope you can read fast 🙂

  11. Insomnia, so I will probably sleep my way into the New Year.
    Profootballwalk – Oh my God, don’t nitpick so much. It is a catchy headline with a correct quote in the main text. Do you write to the newspapers on a daily basis demanding that they correct and apologise? I personally read the “89%”? Gives it that touch of pseudo-scientific accuracy and certainty” to mean that when it is that specific (as in when less certain you tend to round the number up or down or say between 80% and 90%) then you think that there is a serious amount of research behind as in “97% of all climate scientists” :o)

  12. Hannah, is that the same “97% of Climate Scientists” who say that their cats prefer Whiskas?

  13. Let’s look at Dixon’s response to the report: “It even begins to answer the question of whether life itself will be tenable in the Scottish Islands in 100 years time.”

    With a slight increase in temperature, and an increase in sea level of perhaps a foot, it seems the answer is unequivocally “yes.” Thanks Mr Dixon.

  14. Ldlas
    December 30, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    sorry the wrong link


    those pesky creatures allready were a plague in the 19th century

  15. RoyFOMR – Yes, no doubt. Made me laugh. Happy New Year.

  16. Pingback: Mega Snow Storm Pic - Page 3 - US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum

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