Tuesday, 27 February 2018

The Weather Outside Is Frightful

As the 'Beast from the East' cold snap continues there are advertisements on the television and radio reminding us to check on those who are unable to look after themselves very well. I will set aside a few minutes to call Downing Street and make sure that Theresa May is warm enough and had enough milk and teabags in, the poor old dear has been very doddery recently.
As well as thermal underwear, what else a cold snap brings out is the sort of people who say that as it's snowing and temperatures have plummeted, it disproves Global Warming.
To be fair, i have heard the opposite end of the argument also where environmentalists use a few days of scorching hot temperatures in the summer as proof of Global Warming and both sides of the arguments are just as plain wrong as each other.
The Met Office have patiently explained that this particular wintry spell is due to a Siberian weather system making its way across Europe aided by a plunging Jet Stream which all means that the tonnes of snow usually dropped in Russia has shifted West and dropped on us instead.
Whether that is due to climate change one side will say yes and the other side will say no but arguing over a few shiveringly cold or steaming hot days doesn't do anyone any favours.
What we have to look at is the trend over decades and see if there is a steady pattern so things that affect the temperatures or amount of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere like El NiƱo, oscillations and even volcanic eruptions, get taken into account.
From 1900 to 2002, the Earth warmed, on average, 0.17C every decade. In this 102 year period there were undoubtedly years that were exceptionally cooler and those that were exceptionally warmer than average but even accounting for these anomalies, the trend is that the Globe is currently warming.
Why it is warming and whether it is mans actions causing it is another argument but to dismiss Global Warming just because Western Europe is shivering for a few weeks is ignorant, irresponsible and plain lazy as is not knowing the difference between weather and climate.

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