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This extreme weather is a consequence of exhaustive reporting

25 March 2013

11:07 AM

25 March 2013

11:07 AM

Just as a follow up to what I was talking about below. Here’s the government’s chief scientific advisor, Sir John Beddington:

‘Professor Sir John Beddington said that time lags in the climate system meant that accumulations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere now will determine the weather we experience for the next 25 years.

‘Climate change is already manifesting itself in huge variations in the weather, clearly illustrated by the way Britain experienced both drought and extreme rainfall last year, he said.’

That’s from today’s Torygraph. I’m sorry, I just don’t swallow it. I’m perfectly prepared to accept that man-made climate change is a reality. But to tie it to what was, last year, perfectly normal weather is facile and deceiving. I remember when hosepipe bans were a perpetual occurrence of the British spring/summer. And I cannot be alone in remembering successions of wet summers. Records are broken every year because newspapers are highly attuned to finding records to break; as I say, almost every day could be categorised as a ‘record breaker’ by the vast criteria used these days.

Incidentally, it may well be that floods cause more damage today; that’s largely because we’ve concreted over our floodplains. But the whole thing, this extreme weather stuff, is also a consequence of exhaustive reporting, and now with public participation.

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