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Global warming and the snowfalls

Andrew Neil | 09:22 UK time, Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Snow scene in New York

First Britain, now the east coast of the United States have been ground to a halt by heavy snowfalls. Global warming sceptics are having a field day amidst fiercely cold temperatures in many parts of Northern Europe and North America.

But global warming advocates are fighting back in the bibles of global warming belief, notably the Daily Politics' favourite eco-enthusiast George Monbiot in the Guardian and Judah Cohen (director of seasonal forecasting at an atmospheric and environmental research firm) in the New York Times -- both arguing that this winter's cold snaps and heavy snowfalls are actually being caused by global warming.

I'll leave readers to make up their own minds once they've perused the articles and confine myself to one comment: they may be right but it is not what the global warming establishment told us 10 years ago.

Consider this from another global warming bible, The Independent, (March 20, 2000), when the IPCC was gearing up to get us all to take global warming seriously:

... 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 [the epicentre of global warming research], within a few years winter snowfall will become "a very rare and exciting event". Children just aren't going to know what snow is."

Much of the debate about global warming is hard for non-scientists like myself to follow but you don't need even an GCSE in science to know that that prediction -- common a decade ago -- turned out to be plain wrong. Global warmers can't tell us in one year that man-made global warming will make snow scarce, then a few years later claim it explains why there is so much snow now.

Both explanations can't be right, I'd suggest.

Permit me to make one more non-scientific observation: as a sometime resident of New York and regular visitor there (I've just come back) for over 30 years I remember the city being regularly hit by snow blizzards. Not so long ago (early in the past decade) I recall waking up one February morning to a tremendous snow storm which had dumped almost two feet of snow in Central Park and closed all the airports. Bit like New York this week.

So I'm not sure the current dump proves things either way ...

Click here to watch DP coverage on the global warming and climate change arguments.


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