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What’s happening? Snow was ‘disappearing from our lives’ in 2000

27 March 2013

7:30 AM

27 March 2013

7:30 AM

Enormous thanks to OGT for alerting us all to the brilliant article from the Independent – published on Monday March 20th, 2000. Here’s the first bit of it:

‘Britain’s winter ends tomorrow with further indications of a striking environmental change: snow is starting to disappear from our lives.

Sledges, snowmen, snowballs and the excitement of waking to find that the stuff has settled outside are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britain’s culture, as warmer winters – which scientists are attributing to global climate change – produce not only fewer white Christmases, but fewer white Januaries and Februaries.

The first two months of 2000 were virtually free of significant snowfall in much of lowland Britain, and December brought only moderate snowfall in the South-east. It is the continuation of a trend that has been increasingly visible in the past 15 years: in the south of England, for instance, from 1970 to 1995 snow and sleet fell for an average of 3.7 days, while from 1988 to 1995 the average was 0.7 days. London’s last substantial snowfall was in February 1991.

Global warming, the heating of the atmosphere by increased amounts of industrial gases, is now accepted as a reality by the international community. Average temperatures in Britain were nearly 0.6C higher in the Nineties than in 1960-90, and it is estimated that they will increase by 0.2C every decade over the coming century. Eight of the 10 hottest years on record occurred in the Nineties.

However, the warming is so far manifesting itself more in winters which are less cold than in much hotter summers. According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.

“Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

The effects of snow-free winter in Britain are already becoming apparent. This year, for the first time ever, Hamleys, Britain’s biggest toyshop, had no sledges on display in its Regent Street store. “It was a bit of a first,” a spokesperson said.

Fen skating, once a popular sport on the fields of East Anglia, now takes place on indoor artificial rinks. Malcolm Robinson, of the Fenland Indoor Speed Skating Club in Peterborough, says they have not skated outside since 1997. “As a boy, I can remember being on ice most winters. Now it’s few and far between,” he said.

Michael Jeacock, a Cambridgeshire local historian, added that a generation was growing up “without experiencing one of the greatest joys and privileges of living in this part of the world – open-air skating”.

Warmer winters have significant environmental and economic implications, and a wide range of research indicates that pests and plant diseases, usually killed back by sharp frosts, are likely to flourish. But very little research has been done on the cultural implications of climate change – into the possibility, for example, that our notion of Christmas might have to shift.

Professor Jarich Oosten, an anthropologist at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, says that even if we no longer see snow, it will remain culturally important.

“We don’t really have wolves in Europe any more, but they are still an important part of our culture and everyone knows what they look like,” he said.’

I think Jarich has hit the nail on the head here. Just because the wolves are all killed by the complete absence of snow, it doesn’t mean they will be erased from our folk memories. That’s a comfort.

You will notice the whole thing has a familiarly apocalyptic tone to it: our crops will fail because of the weeds, and we’ll have to scrap Christmas. Brilliant. Thanks again OGT.

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Show comments
  • Brian Jones

    Where were you in March 2012 when we had the warmest March since 1957? Cherry picking science PR pieces does not prove a point and only exposes your scientific illiteracy.

  • LupoLungfish

    Bollocks, I couldn’t give a fig- I love the natural world and I shoot peasants that stray onto my land on a regular basis. What I just can’t understand is all these spics cutting the bloody forests down-peasants. We need the friggin forests. All I ask is why did we spend ten billion quid on shooting up the bloody Iraquis when we could have blown those chips on buying up some forest- its a simple question that demands an answer?- iam off to bed

  • LupoLungfish
  • Swank

    You can see how irrational the warmist obsession is when you consider that, if temperatures overall were three degrees lower than they’ve been in the last handful of years, and man’s activity along with poorly understood natural factors raised them to what we have actually experienced, the war mists would be up in arms about that. Or if we had cooled to exactly where we are now, that would be intolerable, too.

    Can they tell us what an ‘ideal’ temperature might be? Nope. Does the planet ‘know’ what an ‘ideal’ temperature is? Nope: Ideal temperature does not exist. Yet the whole scam and scheme is predicated on the notion of a supposedly ideal temperature.

    Leftism is a religion, and ‘environmentalism’ is one of the gods of the pantheon (equality is the main god).

    • Daniel Maris

      Yes, but we know what is an “ideal” temperature and precipitation range in which to carry out certain forms of agriculture, and also what sort of temperatures, precipitation and sea level are conducive to urban civilisation.

      We know enough from that angle to be able to see what climate trends would concern us.

      • Swank

        Exactly, Daniel, it’s a range — and a big one at that. It’s been changing all through human existence on this planet. Most people and other forms of life like it warm.

  • SkyHunter

    Since when is the anecdotal opinion of an isolated scientist a referendum on the scientific community?
    The author of this piece is an idiot.
    Are we to conclude that all authors are idiots?
    Or just the ones who write for the Spectator?

  • Swank

    Well, look on the bright side. We now have a new slang word for snow.

    ‘I hope you’re going to clear that viner in the driveway before I have to go to work tomorrow!’

    • Baron

      Not bad Swank, not bad at all, to the point and witty. As it happens, Baron did an earlier posting, in which the new synonym for snow also figured. Lacking your feminine touch and wit he suggested the new metonym should be asked to strip from the waste down, sit on the snow, sing ‘snow is a very rare and exiting event’ to the tune of Jerusalem until the hanging bit fell off. It didn’t pass the Spectator’s freedom of expression censors. It must have been the mention of the Parry’s hymn that killed it.

      • Swank

        Oh I love it! Thanks so much for that, Baron! :^o

  • Daniel Maris

    Rod, a word of advice: stop staring morosely out of your kitchen window. You’re obviously depressed by the weather – isn’t this your third posting in succession on the subject? Book a flight to the Med. Pen us a missive from the southern coast of Cyprus or Israel or even the “Free Arab” republics of North Africa. It will cheer us up.

  • http://twitter.com/bbcgoogle Rockin Ron

    This is just a retweet masquerading as an article.

    • rodliddle

      it’s not masquerading as anything, it’s just what it says it is. And stop “rockin'”. You look stupid.

  • FrankS

    “I’m dreaming of a White Easter… so just get used to it!”

    • Daniel Maris

      “I’m dreaming of a climate cha-ange
      Just like the one we used to know,

      Where we all would swelter

      And children would shelter
      From the pitiless ra-ays of the sun…”

  • FrankS

    Viner’s 2000 predictions have been excavated all over the blogodrome for a week now – do catch up, Rod!

  • FrankieThompson

    People worried they might never see snow again in the fifties. But Bing and Danny started singing, and, hey presto, it snowed. Much the same has happened here.

  • OldmanRick

    Until we can control the tilt and wobble of the earth and the planet’s orbit around the sun, we will not be able to control mother nature and her whimsy.

    • Hexhamgeezer

      Is it not the case that all those heavy 4X4s in the Northern Hemisphere driven by those white people have unbalanced Gaia and nudged her off her ancient axis and so creating extremes of weather? I think that’s what’s driving dave an’ nick an’ ed’s tofu and rickshaws for the masses policies.

      • OldmanRick

        Based on recent studies conducted by Harvard Law and the DOJ(Department of Jerks), it is theorized that the excessive concentration of progressives on the left coast is responsible for the wobble, and all the CO2 and CH4 from their constant bleating is to blame for global warming.

  • E Ball

    I installed energy efficient bulbs years ago. Haven’t they stopped climate change yet? They certainly have ruined my eyesight.

    • Eddie

      Ah yes, the ‘green lightbulbs’ – which don’t become bright until 30-60seconds after you turn them on! I have the bruises and stubbed toes to prove that!
      Happily, I managed to secure a black market supply of the old-style ‘normal’ lightbulbs 100w and 60w (hush hush, say no more…) so now can actually see what I am doing when the sun goes down.
      I refuse to allow any of those dim energy-saving ‘chiaraschuro’ light bulbs into my house, despite the energy companies insistence on sending me free ones (they go straight to the neighbour – she loves ‘green lightbulbs’ – you can tell from her regular bandages and bruises, and the stubby-toed limp with which she hobbles around her environmentally friendly house of near-darkness…)

    • Daniel Maris

      And made your house colder as they give off virtually no heat. So you’ll have to turn up the heating. Go figure.

  • DougS

    Dr Viner – where is he now?

    November 2012:
    “…Mott MacDonald has appointed Dr David Viner as principal advisor
    for climate change. An internationally recognised expert, David
    brings with him 20 years of experience working in the area of
    climate change.

    David worked for 17 years at the University of East Anglia’s (UEA)
    Climatic Research Unit, where he developed a worldwide reputation
    working across all areas of climate change. He led UK public
    engagement on climate change adaptation and advised both the UK
    government and international agencies. During this time he was also
    director of the UEA’s innovative climate change masters course…..”

    Obviously, talking complete bollox isn’t a handicap in the (CAGW) jobs market!

    • Baron

      DougS, talking bollocks isn’t a detriment to anyone’s career anywhere provided one talks bollocks when everyone else in power does. This was what happened in the the times of the financial insanity when the dour Scot came up with the brilliant idea of ‘no boom, no bust’, is happening with the adoration of the tenets underpinning the NHS, the restorative criminal justice system, other pseudo-liberal experiments in our life still. It’s worth keeping in mind for everyone who wants to make it.

      • LupoLungfish

        i agree Baron- but have you tried Bedlam Ale?

        • Baron

          What’s this Bedlam Ale then? You seem to be obsessed with it.

          Baron’s favorite long drinkk happens to be lager, remember, the barbarian comes from the East, well from that bit of Europe that brews and drinks lager like Krusovice..

  • DougS

    No more snow – from the same people (like Sir John Beddington, Chief Scientific Advisor to HMG no less) that are now telling us that the current snow and cold weather is caused by……….I’m sure you’re ahead of me………yes, GLOBAL WARMING – of course it is Sir John, of course it is!

    You’ve really got to be soft in the head to take this stuff in.

    • Baron

      You may be missing it abit again, DougS, my blogging friend, the man ain’t soft in anything, just the opposite, he knows which way the Hovis is buttered.

      When Darwin came up with his evolution theory it got embraced very quickly by the ruling classes whilst many biologists were still either undecided, totally against it, on the macro level anyway, you know, fish morphing into amphibia, amphibia into reptiles……It suited the establishment then because the great man’s ‘survival of the fittest, competition, natural selection’ echoed the capitalistic pathos of the day. Similarly here, we may all freeze, the tossers will continue to blame man made global warming. It gives them virtually unlimited powers from taxing us to suspending democratic rights, limiting our freedoms, setting up a ‘world government of the anointed’ not subject to elections.

      • DougS

        I wasn’t talking about Sir Bed’ being soft in the head – only those that believe his nutty outpourings!

        • Baron

          Baron’s fault entirely, DougS, how could he, apologies.

      • First L

        People accept evolution because it is supported by facts (for the record no animal ‘morphs’, mutation occurs in reproduction when DNA replicates itself and errors occur and mutations survive if they offer a greater adaptation into a food web, or sexual advantage – i.e. women prefer tall men, thus the tall gene survives and procreates – the human race gets taller). Man made global warming is not supported by facts. Simple as that.

        • Baron

          Thank you, First L, Baron’s grateful for the explanation, accepts evolution at the species level, no problem at all. The difficulty arises only if one applies Darwin’s evolution theory to the class level (the typological model of nature). Every fossil of an existing plant or an animal ever found has been fully formed, equally characteristic of its class, equally equidistant from any other class when it first appeared in the fossil records. How come, where are the intermediate members then?

          Even the case of homology on which Darwin relied heavily (those following him slavishly still do) has been greatly weakened by the fact that neither in embryological development nor in DNA coding homology doesn’t manifest itself at all. It’s true, the skeleton of the forelimb can be matched bone by bone in man, dog, rat, horse. Yet these are developed from different body segments in different vertebrate species. Also, different genes code for what appears after completion to be homologous parts like the bones in the different vertebrate species.

          No, my blogging friend, orthodox Darwinism ain’t the full answer to the origins of life, far from it. You should read someone like Denton, Behe to find out more.

          • First L

            Our fossil record consists of less than 1% of all the species that have existed on Earth. Also your understanding of classes is fatally flawed, assuming that evolution is a road from one species to another – from Monkey to Ape to Man for example. What you fail to understand is that Monkey is not the ancestor of Ape and Ape is not the ancestor of Man. There is no missing link between Monkey and Ape or between Ape and Man. Monkey, Ape and Man are cousins, not ancestors. There is a distant animal in history which came upon a natural physical barrier. On one side of the barrier this animal moved towards becoming a Monkey, on the other side of the barrier it moved towards becoming an Ape. Then this proto Ape met another barrier and again diverged. One side becoming Ape, the other side becoming Man. As such so all life on earth occurred.

            Here is a list of animals currently undergoing observable evolution where you can see this process in action.
            http://listverse.com/2011/11/19/8-examples-of-evolution-in-action/

            Note how none of the animals are misformed, or part works, they simply move apart from each other. Again, your lack of understanding comes into play. Our fossil record consists almost exclusively of bones and shells. Therefore we only ‘see’ animals that are ‘equidistant’ from each other because we can only identify where skeleton’s are different. But the animals on that list have the same skeletons, just slightly differing organs. Look at you and me. We have a clear common ancestor – Mitochondrial Eve. My Skeleton and your skeleton would be almost identical, certainly identical as far as species, yet you and I will look entirely different, be of different height, different hair, different eyes etc etc and we will pass different genes on to our children.

            Orthodox Darwinism has indeed been refined down the years, but if you’re looking elsewhere for answers, it shows you never understood Orthodox Darwinism in the first place.

            • Baron

              Just this, and Baron gives up on you.

              In your list the moth is still a moth, the crab still a crab, the mussel still a mussel…it’s all species, Baron has no quarrel accepting evolution within each species, formation of new ones.

              Breeding pigeons is probably the best example. The fact remains that however much you breed, create new species of pigeons it is still a pigeon. Get it?

              Mammals are thought to have ‘evolved’ from reptiles. Give Baron one example of a functionally coherent intermediate member that would fit between any reptile and any mammal. When you can breed a pigeon into half a rat, Baron will take his hat off to you. Take your time, Baron can wait.

          • Swank

            Baron, I agree that the mechanism of evolution, even accepting Darwin’s account of natural selection, is not sufficient and leaves dark corners. But there are intermediate forms. Archaeopteryx sure looks that way: reptilian body with a relativley heavy beak and skeleton, and wings. Also it could be said that Ardipithecus ramidus, the oldest known likely human ancestor at 4.4 mya, is somewhat intermediate, in having a strange out-turned tree-climbing big digit/thumb (and full body fur). What do you think?

            One thing I know is sometimes genes come in ‘packages’, so one can inherit a gene that itself has not necessarily been selected for but still survives in the next generation, becoming part of the overall heritage. Also, some capacities seem to be by-products of others. No primeval mating preference ‘selected’ for the capacity to recognize music, and yet all humans have it — probably as a by-product of, and package deal with, other more essential faculties.

            • Baron

              Swank, you may well be right, Baron knows so litttle about everything, evolution included. Still, a top book on the subject is Michael Behe’s tome ‘The Edge of Evolution’. Priceless,

              • Swank

                Baron: I know so little about it, too. As for Behe, I’ll have a look — thanks.

              • Swank

                Baron: Odd that on Amazon.com there is no cover image for the E of E book (perhaps the publisher is changing it), but I see that Behe also wrote Darwin’s Black Box. Have you read the latter, too? I’m tempted to start with that one.

                • Baron

                  Baron read both, returns to both often, the ‘Darwin’s Black Box’ is indeed Behe’s first shot, the ‘Edge’ follows on, digs deeper into irreducibly complex systems. You will not be disappointed with either, the guy writes beautifully, and the idea of irreducible complexity, although simple in itself, if anything we’ll convince you that there must be more to life’s origin than random mutation, natural selection and common ancestry. Do let Baron know what you think.

                • Swank

                  Thanks very much, Baron.

          • Swank

            Another thought, Baron. Does it make a difference that all forms seem to be created by symmetrical subdivision? We see many forms of life that amaze us, but we don’t see three-trunked elephants or seven-legged antelopes. There would seem to be a principle of development that applies to most forms of life that can be grouped together, e.g. animal kingdom v. plant kingdom, etc.

          • Daniel Maris

            I agree. Epigenetics has nothing to do with orthodox Darwinism – it’s more a form of neo-Lamarckism. But epigentic evolution (where genes are switched on in response to environmental stimuli such as prolonged hunger in the life of the parent) is now accepted by all evolutionary scientists. I think we may learn more about how evolution is a more complex phenomenon, involving other forms of interaction with the environment including the nature of available nutrition.

          • LupoLungfish

            Yes, but have you tried the new Pale Ale from Bedlam brewed in Sussex? crisp, dry and sweet as a nut Baron- it really is a good ale with restorative powers.

            • Baron

              Point taken, Baron will give up showing up on things he knows FA about.

      • LupoLungfish

        micro-biology?, yes, a difficult question Baron- but mainly to do with brewing ale I surmise. I don’t know much on the subject but Bedlam Brewery in Sussex make a nice pint of ale I’v heard.

        • Baron

          No need to rub it in, Lupo.

  • Kevinc

    I remember reading this at the time and realizing it was cobblers. For the record, I live in Shropshire, which is currently under deep snow for the 3rd or 4th time this winter. On Sunday afternoon (late March remember) the air temperature at 1 pm was -3 and I went for a walk through deep snowdrifts. Every night for the last 8 weeks or so, the temperature has dropped well below zero. and often stays there during the day. Last year and the year before locals recorded temperatures of close on -30 (though you would never know this from reading the official figures from the met Office) and the river Severn froze. Of course, while all this might suggest to the uninformed, fascist readers of the Spectator that the climate is actually getting colder, any fule can see that it is in fact a direct result of global warming, due I suggest to the gases released by cows and sheep mixing with the platinum in the atmosphere and causing the polar bears to melt, or something…..

  • pedestrianblogger

    There is not and never has been such a thing as A.G.W. The climate has always changed and always will and there is nothing we can do about it, even if we wanted to.

    • SkyHunter

      So you are suggesting the climate has a will of it’s own?

      • First L

        Skyhunter. Yours is the most moronic comment I have ever read.

        • SkyHunter

          Then I suggest you read what you write.

          • First L

            Your comment was demolished by another poster. I suggest you take heed of it.

          • BrightMind

            No. when your only source of “knowledge” is propaganda sites you sound moronic.

      • Vimeiro

        It’s controlled by God.

        • SkyHunter

          And you know this how?

          • Vimeiro

            He told me.

            • SkyHunter

              He lied.

            • SkyHunter

              Sorry, I meant to say; “She lied.”

      • Swank

        Who said anything about a will? He’s talking about simple cause and effect, silly. The notion of an animated Earth and wilful Nature is a primitive one, prevalent among pre-scientific peoples but embarrassing to mention, frankly. I’m surprised you did.

        Acknowledging planetary forces as bigger than man is hardly a simpleton’s view, or unsophisticated. To the contrary: the thermo-statist/climate-panicker’s view that man can remake the planet’s atmosphere is entirely ludicrous and has more than an undertone of religious apocalyptic prostration.

        What we OUGHT to be talking about is pollution, such as that created by the mining of rare earth metals in China to go in bogus ‘green’ cars such as the Prius (30 lbs of rare earth metals in a Prius!) and in those wind-turbine abominations so beloved of thermo-statists.

        • SkyHunter

          What planetary forces?
          Like solar variation? Estimated at 1366 W/m2, varying by 1-2W/m2 over the past 2000 years?
          You simpletons make the argument that the current climate change is natural. Yet have no theory to explain what “natural” causes are responsible.

          • Swank

            1. You can’t possibly disentangle (pace Scott, elsewhere) the effect of man’s activity from natural effects: too many, too complex. Man’s contribution amounts to one or two factors dependent on industrial manufacturing. The planet’s variables are innumerable. How, as a matter of logic, do our one or two factors override or overwhelm all of nature’s systems?

            2. The temperature of any spot on the planet at any time is of no concern insofar as we have to accommodate ourselves to it, but there is nothing we can or should do to try to change it.

            Energy policy and the running of democracies have nothing whatsoever to do with temperatures. Temperatures have no moral status, and we have no moral obligation even to attempt (and fail!) to affect them.

            Another question: (even) if man’s activity contributes to warming, yet we find we’re actually entering a little ice age instead, are you going to advocate massive industrial output and consumption to counteract the cold?

            You see the bind you’ve put yourself in. We can’t do anything about climate. We don’t know where the climate is naturally ‘heading’, anyway. There is no moral virtue in changing our behaviour in the mistaken belief that we are ‘helping’ climate, which doesn’t need help. THAT is a pagan idea: that the climates of the world are victims needing succour!

            • SkyHunter

              So essentially your argument is that since it is too complex for you to understand it… it is impossible to understand.
              Whatever.

              • Swank

                Not my argument at all. I’m saying we are, in the vernacular, a pimple on a puddin’.

                • SkyHunter

                  So your argument is that large excursions in the carbon cycle are of no consequence?
                  If so, the geologic record would beg to differ.

                • Swank

                  I’m not here to argue about what makes climate tick. I’m here to say that what makes climate tick is immensely complex, that we don’t know the half of it, and that man’s entanglement in said complexity is minute. AND that the climate ticking this way or that should have no say or role in how we set energy policy or any other policy in a free society.

                • SkyHunter

                  So I was right. Your argument is that it is too complex for you to understand, therefore nothing should be done about it.

                • Swank

                  No, I’ll say it again: Man has no obligation to do anything about temperature. Very simple and straightforward: got it now?

                • SkyHunter

                  But man IS doing a great deal about temperature!
                  That is what AGW is.

                • First L

                  No, there is no proof that AGW is occurring. Because to have proof that AGW is occurring you need a control model. We are currently on Earth and we currently emit Carbon, and the temperature has appeared to rise ever so slightly in the past 60 years. That is correlation, but it is not causation, and to claim it as such is utterly irresponsible and crap science. Firstly climate is measured over thousands or hundreds of thousands of years. The mean temperature per year for 60 years means bugger all in that mass of mean temperatures for hundreds of thousands of years. Secondly, without a control group of another planet with exactly the same conditions and without humans producing carbon dioxide, and showing a differentiation in mean temperature you have no possible way of stating that CO2 is the cause of mean temperature change. And even if that Control Group did show no change, there are still millions of other factors that you cannot account for. We cannot even make a stab as to the sheer number of factors that go into making up the climate. You keep telling Swank that just because we don’t have full knowledge should not stop us consciously trying to cause climate change by counteracting gasses we have already released into the atmosphere. I put it to you however, that some of histories greatest mistakes were caused by people who failed to understand the full effects of what they were doing – Thalidomide, Asbestos, Agent Orange, DDT. All created by Scientists who thought they knew it all. You think you know it all. You think the science backs it up. You are an arrogant fool for doing so. The fact is that there is no observable change in the climate that cannot be put down to other factors – or indeed cannot be put down to purely natural variation over the course of a few thousand years. The temperature varies, but temperature is not climate. You are the one operating without knowledge, wanting to do things about a problem that you cannot prove exists, with solutions that cannot be proven to work, through treaties that the Chinese won’t even sign up to, but that will significantly increase the cost of living and damage the quality of life for millions of ordinary people.

                  It’s called fanaticism and it’s stupid.

                • SkyHunter

                  We are already counteracting the warming gases in the atmosphere by emitting cooling ones as well.
                  Just because you are not bright enough to grasp atmospheric physics and chemistry, does not mean that they don’t exist.

                • First L

                  And just because you are not bright enough to grasp Geology, Astrophysics or a climate model longer than a human lifespan doesn’t mean that they don’t exist either.

                • SkyHunter

                  I understand them quite well.
                  What is it you think I don’t understand?

                • First L

                  You don’t understand climate. Our best computers cannot accurately model climate. Our best computers cannot even predict the weather accurately. Your continued claims that you are correct in this field are pure fantasy.

                • SkyHunter

                  I am not pushing anything.
                  I am just pointing out facts.
                  If you want to refute them, please do. I am always eager to become less wrong.
                  But you are wasting your time insulting me.
                  It makes you look foolish.
                  And I don’t care.

                • BrightMind

                  But since your “facts” all originate at propaganda sites they are, at best, askew.

                • First L

                  SkyHunter Swank • 19 hours ago −
                  But man IS doing a great deal about temperature!
                  That is what AGW is.
                  0 2 •Reply•Share ›

                  That is a theory – not a fact. You are pushing a theory as fact, you’ve got a dozen comments on this story doing so.

                  I don’t need to insult you, it’s clear to anyone reading this thread that your thinking is flawed. You cannot say that Man is influencing temperature. You can only say that Man may be influencing temperature. Being so arrogant as to use the word is – on something like temperature which is insanely variable and affected by literally millions of different factors shows your flawed thinking. You don’t know! You don’t have a single shred of evidence to say that the temperature of any particular day is 0.5 degrees warmer or cooler than it would have been if man did not exist. You can look and see that we are releasing Carbon, and you can look and see that the seasons have been in flux a little bit (although pretty much anyone with a memory longer than 6 months will tell you this kind of seasonal variation is entirely normal) and then you draw a red line between these two observations and call it causation. Use words like IS, instead of MAY BE.

                  I don’t need to insult you and nor am I doing so. I am simply pointing out that you claim to understand science but fail at the very first hurdle, hence you looking like a snake oil salesman – selling something that claims something for which there is no scientific proof. If you take that as an insult, you are thin skinned indeed. Anyone reading this thread can see that you are talking utter rubbish.

                  You have two facts:
                  1. Man releases Carbon into the atmosphere. Yep, fair enough
                  2. The Climate is changing – well this ‘fact’ in itself is in dispute. The climate is always changing. It just depends what timeline you’re looking at. Over 60 million years the climate has never stayed still. Over 1 week? Perfectly constant.

                  Now unless you have absolute irrevocable proof that fact 1 affects fact 2 (after you’ve bothered to define the time period), and I mean scientific proof of repeatable, peer reviewed lab tests using control groups, then you cannot claim that 1 = 2. Doing so is a complete and deliberate misrepresentation of our knowledge and understanding at this time in order to promote your personal agenda. You can claim you’re being insulted, but that’s just the sound of your argument being demolished. It may be that your hypothesis is true. It is possible. But it is one of many possibilities and if you want to claim it as fact, bloody well go away and prove it as a fact first before spouting such childish statements.

                • SkyHunter

                  Look, you don’t have a clue. Nor are you willing to entertain information that conflicts with your limited perception of reality.
                  Rant away all you want. I refuse to argue with a moron.
                  The fact is that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, we can see and measure it’s radiative properties in the atmosphere. The AGW theory is well established and grounded in physics. To refute the theory, you must first understand it. Since you clearly do not understand it. There is nothing to talk about.

                • BrightMind

                  Be sure to not argue with yourself. Who has seen or measured CO2 radiation in situ in the atmosphere?

                • First L

                  There. Finally you have admitted it is a theory. Wasn’t so difficult was it. Now I suggest you listen up very carefully. The point of a theory is that it is not established fact. Why? Because there are arguments against it or because there are holes in the theory.

                  I’m interested to know why you think I have refuted the theory? Go back through my posts. I have done nothing of the sort. I have been consistently pointing out to you that theory is not fact and that your theory ignores numerous factors. I have never said that the theory cannot be true. All I have said is that you have zero proof for the theory and therefore you cannot state it as fact. All evidence in the public domain is debatable and can be interpreted in more than one way. Furthermore, you’re so obsessed with your theory that you take no account of any global cooling factors that may be in play, such as the Sun’s relative current weakness – remember we still have no idea what effect the Solar Cycle plays on Climate. It fails to take into account the 1.3 billion cattle in the world that produce billions of tonnes of methane through farting because of the make up of their digestive systems and methane is 72 times more potent than CO2 in terms of warming. How do you suggest that one gets solved – shoot everything Bovine?

                  And I see that you’re the one that has resorted to insults. Despite the fact that your argument does not stand up in any way shape or form. You are taking one fact – that CO2 is a warming gas – and extrapolating it where you have no right to extrapolate it because you cannot tell me the following factors:
                  What time scale are you measuring climate over?
                  What is the sun’s effect on climate?
                  What is the moon’s effect on climate?
                  What is geology’s effect on climate?
                  What is the atmosphere’s effect on climate?
                  What are the magnetic pole’ss effect on climate?
                  What is El Nino and La Nina’s effect on climate?
                  What are the ocean’s effect on the climate?
                  What are all the gasses being released into the atmosphere? In what quantities? How are they reacting and what are their effects on the atmosphere?
                  What temperature are you measuring the increase from and when? Is it from 60 years ago or is it from the Ice Age?
                  What is the normal temperature range of the planet? (Probably the most important question of them all). How has the temperature and climate naturally varied at any stable point in the Earth’s history?
                  What feedback loops have you identified? Have you identified all of them?
                  What factors caused Global Warming and Cooling in the past? Why are these factors not relevant now?
                  What caused the Earth to begin rapidly heating from the last Ice Age?
                  Define abnormal seasons and abnormal weather?
                  If Humans did not exist, would the current climate be different in any conceivable way?
                  What exactly will removing CO2 from the Atmosphere do to the climate? How will you measure it?

                  Now until you can scientifically answer every single one of those questions, and probably a whole load more that more qualified people than me would ask, you cannot scientifically sit there and say CO2 is responsible for Global Warming: Fact! You can say I think CO2 is responsible for global warming. Saying anything else is the type of arrogance that has earned the AGW lobby the contempt of everyone else. in the time it’s taken me to type this, 1.3 billion cows have farted several million tonnes of methane into the atmosphere. Why isn’t the problem Methane? Is there even a problem? Because if you can’t even identify a natural temperature range for the planet, then you cannot state what is and is not natural variation? And it is physically impossible to state the natural temperature variation of the planet because we’ve only been on the planet and self conscious for 2,000 years and only keeping records for 60. Which is the blink of an eye in the life of a planet.

                  As such, your theory is just that. A theory. And lots of people disagree with it. And more people are inclined to disagree with it when idiots such as you get uppity and stupid and start insisting that you are right and only ‘morons’ could fail to perceive the problem. Yet until you can prove that we are outside the normal climactic/temperature variation for the planet, you cannot even prove that a problem exists. There’s a problem for man, clearly, but not for the planet. A 0.02% increase in CO2? Don’t make me laugh. The planet has changed it’s entire atmospheric constitution at least twice before now (A process that took millions of years btw – not 60) and life damn well survived.

                  As such – whatever the truth is about Global Warming, the problem is not the warming itself. the problem is how man survives on a living planet that will change at some point in the future – man made or no. And as such investment should be made in technology that helps us survive such change, not stopping such change, because whether it’s man made or natural, change will damn well happen. Investment in stopping unwanted change to the planet is wasted investment.

                  But clearly, you understand none of this. Go ahead, peddle your little theory as FACTUAL in big capital letters and happily alienate more people from your cause. Hardly skin off my nose now is it how you piss others off.

                • BrightMind

                  The SkyHunter informs himself from sites like Mother Jones and (not very) Skeptical Science. His default position is that if you disagree with these advocacy and propaganda sites you reject science and reason. His is a sad waste of a mind.

                • BrightMind

                  Um actually that applies very much to you.

                • Swank

                  You’re being wilfully dense now, darlin’.

                • Baron

                  SkyHunter, why don’t you listen. Nature pours out the vaaaast majority of CO2, 96% of the gas, not man. If we all dropped dead, the 7nb plus of the hominids traversing the planet at present, the CO2 levels would drop only marginally. One serious belch of Vesuvius would compensate for our being kaput.

                  What you reckon would happen then? Would global warming carry on?

                • SkyHunter

                  Are you saying that a 4% increase in your income, while your expenses remained fixed, would not increase your net worth over time?

                • SkyHunter

                  Volcanoes add a very small amount of CO2 to the atmosphere. Less than 1% of human emissions.
                  The general warming trend would continue for another few decades as the thermal inertia reaches equilibrium. Then natural weathering processes would eventually remove the excess carbon, and based on orbital forcings, the nrthern continents would regrow their ice sheets and the planet would experience another glacial epoch.

                • Baron

                  second that, Swank.

                • Swank

                  Cheers, Baron!

                • LupoLungfish

                  Baron my old friend- I think you should try a damn fine ale that is being created in Sussex- Bedlam fine pale Ale, but apart from that you must see this! http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/man-is-fallen-and-will-destroy-the-earth–but-at-least-we-greens-made-him-wait-8554548.html

                • LupoLungfish

                  I must admit, that Bedlam is a fine beer, In fact its almost a perfect pint!- but the truth is its damn hard work making a brewery work. Buy a pint of Bedlam, and if your local pub doesn’t have it, then surely there must be something wrong?

                • Baron

                  You’ve had one too many of that Bedlam stuff, haven’t you?

            • SkyHunter

              Another question: (even) if man’s activity contributes to warming, yet we find we’re actually entering a little ice age instead, are you going to advocate massive industrial output and consumption to counteract the cold?

              No. One factory producing HFC’s would be sufficient to stave off another ice age indefinitely.
              Besides, the climate effect of releasing all this sequestered carbon is secondary the the deleterious effects it is having on the carbon cycle itself.
              That is the least understood consequence of causal effects of human activity.

              • Swank

                I don’t think we understand anything much about this. And a lack of sufficient understanding does not justify a whole new basis of policy-making on a global — or at least Western! — scale.

                Do I hear you right? You think man can prevent another ice age indefinitely? Wow.

                • SkyHunter

                  From your perspective you are correct. But from mine, the things you don’t understand are textbook physics.
                  You did not mention one single natural factor. You claim they are innumerable.
                  Give me 5 examples with quantitative forcing numbers, of natural climate factors that are overwhelming the geologically unprecedented release of carbon into the atmosphere.

                • Swank

                  I don’t have to know that: I’m applying logic.

                  I’m also saying that we have no moral obligation to attempt control of temperatures, whatever the scientific state of understanding of natural processes.

                • SkyHunter

                  This isn’t logic.

                  1. Man’s contribution, if any, amounts to one or two factors dependent on industrial manufacturing. The planet’s variables are innumerable. How, as a matter of logic, do our one or two factors override or overwhelm all of nature’s systems?

                  This is logic.

                  Analysing the multi-model mean over 1951 to 2010 (focussing on the most robust result), we estimate a range of possible contributions to the observed warming of approximately 0.6 K from greenhouse gases of between 0.6 to 1.2 K, balanced by a counteracting cooling from other anthropogenic forcings of between 0 and -0.5 K.

                • First L

                  1951 to 2010?

                  You don’t measure climate over 60 years man. You measure it over 6,000 years! The past 60 years are just one single data point on a massive graph and signify sod all.

                • SkyHunter

                  So says the anonymous ranter on a blog comment.

                • SkyHunter

                  Yes. We have the technology to alter the thermal structure of the atmosphere.
                  If you spent your time studying atmospheric chemistry, instead of chasing conspiracy theories, you would understand that.

                • Baron

                  You aware of the Red Menace, now fortunately defunct, thinking it ‘can command the rains and winds’. If you look around, they are no longer with us, the Red Menace as opposed to the winds and rains.

                • SkyHunter

                  The Red Menace???
                  Are you referring to the Native Americans slaughtered by the Europeans.

                • Baron

                  Nope, the commies of the East.

                • SkyHunter

                  Oh, I get it. You are making veiled references to climate control as a weapon of war.

                • LupoLungfish

                  Ah- I see what you mean. Those evil bastards that everybody has forgotten about?- those nice folk that would pull your toenailsout for the price of a can of Tesco’s mackeral. I’m only 46 Baron, but I remember. We still see it in North Korea and laugh. But war can happen over small things my blogging friend, Baron, remind all these c–ts how the first ‘Great War’ kicked off- I’m having no part in it by the way. I have a cave on Erraid already lined up!

                • LupoLungfish

                  I’v played my part my blogging friend- you are welcome on Erraid !

                • LupoLungfish
                • Baron

                  So the man whose scribbling you follow thinks the humans will destroy the earth, does he? Why on earth do you read the Independent anyway, waste of time for you, waste of paper, hence trees, hence risk to the planet’s future.

                  Come on Lupo, cheer up, you should always keep in mind we humans are exceedingly good at destroying each other, almost as good as as were the viruses when we didn’t yet had penicillin. Now, that everyone who wants to can have the bomb there’s nothing stopping anyone who wants to eliminating few billions of us here and there, you know, in biblical quantities. That may help to save the planet for species other than the greedy humanoids.

                  Or you reckon we can avoid it?

                • LupoLungfish

                  I’m not sure about that Baron?

                • Baron

                  about what? The bloody ale of yours, the one you keep banging about, or the commies

            • SkyHunter

              Meercury expanding in a glass tube is a proxy for temperature. Now the individual molecules of mercury are not at equal levels of excitement, but constrained in the glass tube, we confidently assume that we have a good approximation of ambient temperature, even though we cannot determine the exact level of molecular excitation of each individual molecule!
              Your argument is sheer and utter nonsense!

              • Swank

                Eh? My argument has nothing to do with how temperature is gauged!

                • SkyHunter

                  It was a metaphor.

                • Swank

                  For what? It was incomprehensible and looked like waffle.

                • SkyHunter

                  But still no mention of a single innumerable natural factors.

                • Swank

                  OK. The sun. The moon. The tides. The fact of every aspect of planet Earth: crust, molten core, ruptures in the crust, salt water, fresh water, precipitation, wind, water vapour (clouds),oxygen-and-carbon-dioxide-breathing life on the planet’s surface. The presence of intergalactic rays and particles, for all I know. Et cetera.

                • SkyHunter

                  Excellent! However, most of those factors only influence how heat moves and is distributed throughout the climate system.
                  Let us simplify for a moment. The only form of heat that enters or exits the Earth’s climate system is radiation. Conductiion and convection are infinitesimal at best. It is constrained, like mercury in a glass tube. All we have to do is measure it.
                  The Earth’s black body temperature is 255K or-18C, yet it’s average surface temperature is 288K or 15C. So 11% to 12% of the energy at the surface is being radiated back from the atmosphere.
                  99.998% of the energy in the climate system originates from the Sun. The other 0.002% is geothermal, the rest is infinitesimal. The Sun”s energy, smoothed to the 11 year cycle, has not varied much over the past 400 years. (1365.5 W/m2 +/- 0.5 W/m2) The first half of the 20th century saw a ~0.5 W/m2 rise in the trend, but it peaked in 1960, and has been trending lower ever since. The current solar cycle is the weakest in a century. If the solar flux was trending higher, it would account for the imbalance, but it isn’t. That rules out the easiest answer.
                  Since 1984, satellites have been measuring more energy coming into the Earth than going out. The satellite is like the thermometer. We don’t need to know the state of each climate factor at any given time, but, since 99.998% of the energy the Earth emits came from the Sun… if more is coming in than going out… just like mercury expanding in a glass tube, this tells us the Earth’s climate system is gaining energy. Since we know empirically that the energy is not coming from the Sun, it must be coming from the atmosphere.
                  So where is the heat if the surface and atmosphere are not warming?
                  In the oceans.
                  The next El Nino event will coincide with record global surface/lower troposphere temperatures.

                • Baron

                  Spot on, Swank.

              • Baron

                A proxy’ fine if it’s the right one. In the key document by the IPPC that got the imbecility going, tree rings are used as a proxy for temperatures. There’s no mention of precipitation in the paper, yet if one were to ask any gardener in which year will trees grow more, one hot and dry, or one warm and wet, what you reckon the answer would be?

                • SkyHunter

                  That is why they selected trees growing in the colder latitudes, where precipitation and growth are both proxies for temperature.

                • Baron

                  What, by what logic could precipitation and growth be both proxies for temperature when grrowth is a function of rainfall and that just isn’t considered at all. Why should one assume precipitation had never varied over centuries. Arghhh

                • SkyHunter

                  Growth is a function of many factors.
                  By what logic do you dismiss evidence you don’t understand?

                • LupoLungfish

                  Yes, but Baron, I’m not interested in temperature, only bedlam ale, brewed by experts, for expert entusiaststs , its a fine ale brewed on a little farm in sussex!

                • Baron

                  I will try it, that’s a promise

      • William Reid Boyd

        Something of the sort is indeed possible in systems displaying ‘hysteresis’.Check it out in Wikipedia. Our weather may well be going into a ‘hysterical’ phase, wild fluctuations sort things.

        • SkyHunter

          You should look it up on Wikipedia

          Not to be confused with Hysteria.

          I already know what it means.

          • William Reid Boyd

            Erm … not sure what the thrust of your remark is here, but I was simply pointing out that that there are already well identified and simple physical systems which exhibit something akin to memory, if you like ‘will’. What is more the behaviour of these systems under stress is unpredictable and exceptionally difficult to model (Mary Cartwright, for example, was a British mathematician who was an early pioneer in this field, check her out on Wikipedia); chaos theory and all that butterfly jazz.

            So snow storms in March might be part of the pattern.

            • SkyHunter

              The snow storms in March are easily explained and even predicted. The Arctic is warming faster than the tropics. As the temperature differential decreases, the polar vortex weakens. This past winter’s was so weak it collapsed, allowing the Arctic air to descend to lower latitudes.

              • BrightMind

                You must have gotten that from Mother Jones or perhaps The Dummies Guide to Trying to Sound as if You Know What You’re Talking About.

              • William Reid Boyd

                Well, I defer to expertise. The only point I wanted to make was that a simplistic prediction of the effects of the postulated global warming that everything gets hotter (so that colder March weather is evidence to the contrary) simply isn’t valid. In fact, as experts point out, global warming might have the effect of suppressing the Atlantic Gulf current (because fresh meltwater floats), precipitating a new ice age in Northern Europe.

                • SkyHunter

                  Sorry I came off so brusque. But I am so used to people telling me to go read something that they don’t understand.
                  Hysteresis is not root related to hysteria. It is derived from the Greek root meaning lagging behind, as opposed to the Latin root meaning uterus. When you conflated the two I thought you were going to waste my time with an alternate theory.
                  I linked a weather blog earlier that discussed the collapse of the vortex. I know it isn’t an official science site, but it is informative.

                • William Reid Boyd

                  Indeed. I confess to not having known that … nevertheless ‘hysterical’ is an apt word to describe the behaviour of these systems under stress.

      • Joshaw

        “So you are suggesting the climate has a will of it’s own?”

        The movement of the Earth’s tectonic plates never stops and gives us faults, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes. There’s nothing we can do about this either.

        Does the Earth have a “will of its own”? If you want to look at it in such a silly way, well yes, I suppose it does.

        Ask a silly question, you get a silly answer.

        • SkyHunter

          The Earth’s tectonic plates do not move by force of will. There is always a physical cause. Just like the climate does not change by force of will, there is a cause.
          Saying it is natural is no different than blaming it on a mythical omnipotent being!
          It was not a silly question, it was a sarcastic one. Sorry if the irony is lost on you.

          • Joshaw

            Seems to have been lost on quite a few people.

            Judging by the tetchiness of your replies, you have a considerable amount of ego invested in your own intellectual superiority. A shame this superiority is not reflected in your reasoning.

            • SkyHunter

              Says the man with 52 comments, all of them negative.
              Like the pot calling the opium dope.
              If you disagree with the reasoning; attributing it to Mother Nature is no different than attributing it to God, then say so. Then follow up with a reasonable, IE, logical reason why.
              Your condescending bullshit is growing tired after 52 posts!

    • LupoLungfish

      Yes, I always consider these matters over a pint of Bedlam fine pale ale- it helps me sleep and calms the mind

  • chan chan

    Five years ago, James Hansen of NASA said we only had four years to save the earth. Well, Dr. Hansen, – we’re still here. Care to revise your bullsh*t theory?

    • Baron

      Why should he, chan chan, his views are backed by the firmest of evidence.

      Before the humanoids began seriously polluting the atmosphere, from the industrial revolution onwards, 99.98% of air contained everything but CO2. Today, 99.96% of the atmosphere is every other particle but CO2, the gas that encourages growth of plant that are consumed by the protein rich stake producing animals that we like to dine off….. If that doesn’t convince you the man of science is right what will, ha?

      • First L

        So in your own words CO2 has increased from 0.02% of the atmosphere to 0.04% of the atmosphere.

        I’m shaking in my snowboots.

        • Baron

          And so you should, First L, so you should, for it isn’t the infinitesimally marginal increase in the CO2 density but the idiotic response to it. Sheer madness.

  • Eddie

    Snow? What snow? No snow here. Sunny and cold. Like a crisp new fifty pound note…

    • Eddie

      Even is human activity is affecting the climate, what to do? Close down all industry and go back to living in caves?
      The biggest environmental issue is overpopulation – it creates problems and makes those that exist worse; it makes species extinct (esp as the Chinese eat anything that moves); it destroys habitats and ravages the Earth.
      And yet and yet – it’s always the greenest of yummy mummys who seem to have 4 or 5 kids (paid for with maternity pay and child benefit from poor people’s taxes), who wag their fingers at anyone passing their Richmond upon Thames mansions (or their holiday home in Devon) who is not reusing a plastic bag.
      Maybe we could recycle people instead eh? Pet food springs to mind.
      (and by the way, every person in north America used double the energy and causes double the pollution of everyone in the UK and Europe. So we’ll be taking no lectures from greenies from over the pond, thank you).

  • http://twitter.com/rgilbert59 Russell Gilbert

    OGT? Oxford Garden Trust? Original Gangster Tool? Ohio Graduation Test? Bit of Riddle Liddle?

    • rodliddle

      It was a poster in a previous thread, mate.

    • OGT

      That’s me. OGT stands for: Olivia Grace Thomas – my youngest daughter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrew.sutton.121398 Andrew Sutton

    Er..well, all this cold wevver is due to global warming innit ?

    • Mark Cooper

      A number of climate scientists are saying precisely that. They’ve written papers and everything. So they must be right and if we don’t believe it, we are idiots. Because they are scientists and always right (or at least settled). Just like Dr Viner.

      • Eddie

        Yep. and let’s not forget the whole thing is a massive industry that makes some people a lot of money, allows them to follow academic careers from which they are unsackable and which earn an average universty professor £73,000 a year (even in the cheapest parts of the UK).
        That’s where all the student fees are going these days, of course. Most of these academics vote Labour too, and claim to be ‘working class’. Hilarious!
        If one looks are just how much senior academics (who get to those lofty heights by being plodders and mediocrities) are creaming off the system, it’s rather shocking actually. Would we as a country be worse off if half were sacked and the salaries of the remainder were halved?
        There are other industries like this which are self-perpetuating and wich are constantly lecturing us about why they are so essential: the diversity and ‘equality’ industry is a great big fat one.
        But the environmental industry comes a close second and emotional blackmail – or pewrhaps ‘green mail’ – is used to perpetuate many an academic career.

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