Wednesday 6 January 2010

Climate Change and the Weather

Today most of the UK is shivering under various degrees of snow. As I look out of my office window it is falling thick and fast (although... long may it continue... not settling). The Daily Express uses this as another excuse (in a long line of excuses) to continue their quest as climate change deniers. This is a short article - which doesn't really go into the arguments one way or the other - but, nevertheless, made the front page of the print edition.

Regular readers know that I am an ardent campaigner for action against climate change... so I'm not exactly unbiased but a far better article was published by the Guardian .

I'm not a scientist... I gave up physics and biology aged 14 and failed by Chemistry GCSE (well I got a D so technically it was a pass... but a pretty poor one). I gave up geography along with the sciences... but even I can understand the basic science. Number 1 - winter will always be colder than summer.... the rotation of the earth moves that hemisphere further away from the sun. Number 2 - precipitation (and by extension snow) is caused by convection and condensation... as I learnt (aged around six) "hot air rises, cools, condenses and down comes the rain". My understanding is that warming oceans mean more rising hot air and more extreme weather (storms, rain, snow, etc.).

I think the problem is that we started by calling it Global Warming... although technically correct what people imagine is long hot summers (warming) - forgetting (as the Guardian points out) the 'global'. Read both articles... make up your own mind - but I shall continue my efforts in fighting climate change; I don't think a snow storm outside makes any difference to the mess the planet is in!