Prolonged Siberian heat attributed to climate change and misleading graphics

Courtesy of UKMO

It strikes me that the Met Office, who must have commissioned at least three of their scientific staff to spend the last few months in lock down to undertake this study, don’t seem to have the means to produce a detailed temperature anomaly map for Asia. After scanning through the report, apart from wondering how they came up with the magic 600 times more likely, I found the anomaly American GISTEMP chart which they chose to lead this story with on their website rather coarse, with lurid orange and red coloured pixels and a very misleading legend. I download NCEP reanalysis data from NOAA myself and I decided to extend the functionality of my application to cover periods longer than a month so I could do a detailed comparison. If you read their report it doesnt really make clear whether that the period they are looking at is from the 1st of January to the 1st of June 2020 or the 30th of June, so I assumed it was the latter and this is what I found.

So forget about all those lurid coloured pixels and the misleading legend that almost screams to you that anomalies in Siberia were as high as 10°C above the 1981-2010 LTA for the first six months of 2020. In fact if my programming is correct, their look to have been two centres to the warmth across Siberia over the last six months, and also a link back to the warmth that occurred across Finland in the winter months. Surely the climate division at the Met Office who have access to climate records from all across the world, can use their GIS mapping and supercomputers to produce much higher resolution and accurate anomaly charts that I can in my back bedroom? So why use a chart like they have? In can only be out of idleness or design, and more likely for effect as much as for the information it conveys.

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