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Let’s get a few facts into the ‘Bumblebee’ story

A 'report' form the National Trust is published here on the BBC News website

I find it so frustrating when publicity from interest groups are presented as 'facts' and this is a case in point. I'm not coming at this from a climate change denier standpoint, or from a proponent of climate change, simply from the 'give me the fact's' viewpoint. If there is a problem in the bumblebee (and other insects) population numbers let's find out what the real issue is, not throw random causes at it.

Any organisation wishing to attract publicity knows that the period between Christmas and New Year is a quiet news period (if it weren't for those pesky celebrity passings), and so what better time to get your name on the headline news? It seems that 'fake news' is not acceptable in relation to certain subjects, but for weather and climate it's fair game!

But this report takes the biscuit. Let's just take a look at a few 'facts' always bearing in mind that (as far as I am aware) this report is not peer reviewed...

1. Nature and wildlife specialist for the Trust, Matthew Oates, said: "2016 comes on top of an unsettled decade, with many species struggling in the face of climate change and more intensive farming practices."
This sentence is riddled with assertions ... 'unsettled decade'? Says who? Who is he quoting?...'face of climate change'? What's that supposed to mean? have the National Trust found hirtherto unpublished evidence that in the last decade there is clear evidence of climate change impacts?....'more intensive farming practices'? I think farmers may like to have word about that one.

2. Mr Oates continues "When you do get good weather during the brighter months of the year, it's almost inevitably short-lived and finished with something nasty."
Are we now into 'conversations down the pub' style of reporting. That's a bit like Mrs Miggins' down the road giving evidence that there must be climate change because she says "Winters aren't what they used to be and summers are definitely wetter."

3. And then ""During the brightest months, we do seem to be getting more extreme weather events, most of which aren't nice."
For goodness sake!!!!!!!!!!

4. "Warmer winter months and bad summers have become the norm..."
What????????? The norm? Excatly what is that, when is the' norm' the new 'norm'?

This is something we can back with evidence. Here is the graph of mean summer temperatures going back to 1910 from the UK Met Office.

Now, look to the far right of the graph. Mean 1981-2010 temperatures are shown by the horizontal magenta coloured line. Each summer is marked with a red dot.

Counting from 2006 we see of eleven summers there were 6 warmer than the average, 4 cooler than the average and 1 which must be designated as average. Oh, and the black dotted line shows the smoothed running mean which actually shows summer tending to a more steady state, almost cooling. So, does 7 of 11 now count an 'the norm' for summers?



What about winters? Here's the mean temperature for winter since 1910, but of course we are focussing on the period from 206.

Of the eleven winters, 4 have been colder than average, 5 warmer than average and 2 would have to be described as average.

So again, let's ask the question, is this the new 'norm'?



This nonsense about climate science really has to stop. It damages the real climate change story, impacts on science and makes a sceptical public trust the 'experts' even less.

You would not get away with such rubbish in astronomy or a similar field, so why do we as meteorologists allow organisations and the media to get away with it in our science?

If you're a member of the National Trust why not email them and ask them to present facts in their reports rather than the opinions of employees?

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....time for deep breaths and a lie down!

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