Thursday, 14 January 2010

The Winter of our Discontent

Worst winter in years throws further doubt on 'global warming'
(Times Educational Supplement)
Alarmists wrong on global warming (British Democracy Forum)
If global warming is real, why is it so damned cold? (Answerbag)

And so on....

With the freezing cold weather of the last few weeks across much of western Europe, plenty of climate change deniers have happily huffed in the cold that here is the proof climate change is...a political delusion; a stealth tax; a leftwing conspiracy against big business, etc.

Yet a few weeks of bad weather does not mean global warming is not happening - on the contrary a long predicted symptom of climate change is more and more extreme weather, both hot and cold, droughts and floods, as the planet's systems come under increasing strain. And warming is a gloabl phenomenon, which means you can have all manner of local and regional variants. For example, while Britain reeled under inches of snow and the lowets temperatures in decades, Alaska and Canada were nearly 10 degrees warmer than normal for this time of year on many days.

Globally, the weather event known as La Nina has artificially cooled the planet over the leat decade or so since the record warm year of 1998. In the last few weeks, this has finally ended and been replaced by its opposite, El Nino, which equally warms up the planet. Both in their different ways mask the real underlying trend, which ramians steadily upwards as countries continue to fail to agree any effective concerted action to tackle climate change.

And more locally here in the UK, with people grumbling that the Government should be salting roads more? (It always strike me there is a high correlation between people who expect local councils to have an endless supply of salt to scatter on roads, and vehicles to do this, and those not wanting to pay any more tax ever, period! Let's have our cake and eat it!)

So, how does the UK face warming disaster with our land shrouded in dazzling white snow and ice?

For thousands of years, Britain has enjoyed a temperate climate owing to the warming effects of the Gulf Stream coming across the Atlantic. Now, global warming is melting the polar icecaps and colder water is flowing into the Atlantic Ocean. Indeed, for the first time in recorded history, the North Pole ice receded so far in summer 2008 that ships could sail from Europe to Japan over the once mythical North-west sea passage. This meltwater is cooling the Gulf stream waters and reducing its warming effect on the UK, so as the planet warms overall, the real irony is that our winters may become much colder, and our summers much warmer.

One swallow does not make an autumn, and one snowflake does not usher forth a new ice age. Wise up!