A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Weathering the 'global warming' hysteria.....

Oh! I do like this grey, cold, damp summer we're having in the UK. It reminds me of the 1950s and of my childhood holidays, huddled behind striped canvas screens on Cornish beaches, the men sporting cloth caps or knotted handkies, the women paddling gingerly in the chill, dark sea, enveloped in plastic macs and hairnets, and the children wrapt in swaddling clothes and lying in a soggy sandcastle. It was just like those 'naughty' seaside postcards, ruddy-faced holiday-makers with gritted teeth determined to enjoy themselves despite the elements and the vapid English ice cream.

I feel with a Proustian frisson being drenched, frozen, and stoic.

So, of course, I knew the English weather wouldn't let me down after our hot summer of last year, which, inevitably, plunged the 'global warming' faithful into bouts of millenarianism. Now, by contrast, they lie in sulky silence, desperate for the steamy days to re-appear. It's all a sun screen, of course.

But here is a splendid comparison of the two years ("It's the jet stream, stupid!") from one of the BBC's finest weathermen, Michael Fish: 'Jet stream to blame for poor summer' (BBC Science/Nature News):
"This week in Cardiff we expected the mercury to only reach about 19°C (66°F). But as depressing as it sounds, 19°C is just one degree below the average daily maximum for Cardiff in July..... The polar jet stream naturally wavers around in the upper atmosphere and so it is not uncommon for it to be passing over our latitudes. We are therefore not in a 'freak' weather pattern, it's just average [my emphasis]. Our cause is not helped by the fact that we Brits appear to have short memories. Think back far enough and you may recall that most of the UK had beautifully settled weather for much of May and the first half of June. Since then summer has taken a holiday. Northern Europe is suffering the gloom the same as us. So when will it be back? Well, there is no immediate return to summer as this weekend promises more rain or showers for most. The Met Office seasonal forecast perhaps can offer a little glimmer of hope however -'through the middle of the month as the Azores high extends gradually towards the UK, the weather will become more settled, with temperatures gradually rising.'"

Philip, deeply grateful to Mr. Weather! No more need to get over-heated by the nonsensical hype. Plastic mac, anyone?

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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