Met Office's climate change model is 'exaggerating effect of warming'
Climate change forecasts issued by the Westcountry-based Met Office are flawed, a think tank has claimed. A report for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, chaired by former Tory Lord Lawson, said the computer programme behind predictions on warming is biased in favour of higher temperatures.
The Met Office, though, has dismissed the criticism out-of-hand while experts said the attack was deliberately timed to try to undermine a new report by the United Nations.
The foundation claimed errors in the Met Office's computer model on climate change risked millions of pounds of public and private money being "malinvested" in renewable energy technologies and solutions to warming such as heat-proof road surfaces.
Lord Lawson said government policy had been "based on projections by a computer model which has been found to be fatally flawed". A review of the model and its projections was "essential and urgent".
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The programme is called HadCM3, which is used to predict the effect of carbon dioxide levels, and contributes to the UK's official climate projections, UKCP09.
Responding to the claims, the Met Office said: "It claims the Met Office climate model used to make those projections, HadCM3, contains an error and that, because of this error, the projections overestimate warming.
"The Global Warming Policy Foundation's article, however, accepts that the claims of an error have not been substantiated."
It added: "The Global Warming Policy Foundation article fails to note that UKCP09 also used information from many other climate models, and that the projections were independently reviewed prior to publication. Ultimately there is nothing in the Global Warming Policy Foundation article which undermines UKCP09 or the way climate models, including the Met Office's HadCM3, project future temperature changes."