The bottom line is that there is what appears to be growing mistrust of the Met Office as a whole.
One of the issues late last year was the bias of their annual forecasts of global temperature. I posted in December, noting that the end of 2010 would see 11 out of their last 12 annual predictions coming in above the actual recorded temperature. (Note in that post that the final figure for 2010 is now recorded as an anomaly of 0.50) Unbiased forecasts would tend to have a scatter of predictions above and below the final figure.
And it didn't help that the Met Office, having predicted with a flourish of publicity at the time of the Copenhagen conference that 2010 was going to be the hottest year ever, strained language and the facts to put their failed prediction in the most favourable light possible.
Of course, this debate depends on reliable temperature readings. And many question whether the data with which the Met Office works is reliable because CRU keep changing the figures. Here is one such analysis in the last few days.
Accusations of lying are also not helping the reputation of the Met Office. But there is so much material, this post could not do justice to it. Here are a few links which flesh out some of the issues which stem from the failure to forecast the recent cold spell and how the Met Office have dealt with the criticism:
- Autonomous Mind (and there are many more such posts here
- Watts Up With That
- Bishop Hill on the 'interesting' way the Met Office claims to calculate probabilities