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‘Snowfalls Are Now A Thing Of The Past’

From the archives of the UK’s Independent:

Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past

By Charles Onians [sic]
Monday, 20 March 2000

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 0.6°C 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.

David Parker, at the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in Berkshire, says ultimately, British children could have only virtual experience of snow. Via the internet, they might wonder at polar scenes – or eventually "feel" virtual cold.

Heavy snow will return occasionally, says Dr Viner, but when it does we will be unprepared. "We’re really going to get caught out. Snow will probably cause chaos in 20 years time," he said.

The chances are certainly now stacked against the sort of heavy snowfall in cities that inspired Impressionist painters, such as Sisley, and the 19th century poet laureate Robert Bridges, who wrote in "London Snow" of it, "stealthily and perpetually settling and loosely lying".

Not any more, it seems.

Apparently, Mr. David Viner, has become the "head of the British Council’s climate change programme" in the years since he made his pronouncements here.

Which just goes to show how well accurate prognostication is rewarded in the ‘global warming’ game.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, December 28th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

23 Responses to “‘Snowfalls Are Now A Thing Of The Past’”

  1. P. Aaron says:

    This genius should be able to figure out how to hose down the sun.

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    And, PBS just aired here the latest in their installments of “Global Climate Change Uber Alles” Or, “Secrets Beneath The Ice” which largely seemed to be a format for airing their staunch desires to desperately prove that the earth is suffering from “ice degradation” due to increased greenhouse gas. They came to this conclusion (once again) after drilling cores from the terrain below the floating ice without so much as any voice of dissent. Just blind obedience. There were the usual freakshow nutjobs going on about how NYC would be under 60 feet of water, etc etc. No one supposed that the possibility that the earth is getting warmer as a result of a natural cycle…no. It was “clearly” the result of greenhouse gas emissions. No one interrupted and asked why the warming in the past (millions of years ago) occurred. Again, must’ve been all the coal-fired power plants the dinosaurs used and their SUV’s.

    Never underestimate the collective stupidity of people in large numbers.

    • platypus says:

      We have a saying in the legal field: Anyone can go crazy but it takes a jury to truly go insane.

  3. GetBackJack says:

    “Often the less there is to justify conventional wisdom, the harder it is to get rid of it.” Mark Twain

  4. Chuckk says:

    Climate changte legislation is no more than words for higher taxes and more government control of our lives. Let’s get real and and call it what it truly is.

  5. Liberals Demise says:

    These people call themselves scientist?
    Fiction writers at best but scientist………..never!

  6. River0 says:

    It’s a good thing we have global warming. Just think how bad the snow would be if we didn’t!

    Seriously, this is just the latest manifestation of hubris, the dangerous and deadly conceit that mankind can control the life of the planet. We are much more like passengers on a speeding train than we care to admit. Perhaps we do have some small input that may influence nature, but we’ll probably never know. It’s not possible to measure it unless we know all the forces that influence weather. It’s the incredibly powerful sun that drives the weather first and foremost.

    The Medieval Warming Period and the Mini-Ice Age of the 1600’s both came about on their own, at a time when human beings had no industry and zero effect on the climate.

    It’s now been conclusively proved that rising CO2 levels are the result of a warming climate, not the cause of warming.

  7. tranquil.night says:

    Smartest liar in the room at the time.

  8. Astravogel says:

    Slightly off topic. WHERE’S THE OUTRAGE? After Katrina,
    President Bush flew over the flooded city, as there was no
    way to land at the airport. Subsequently State and Local
    authority stonewalled the Federal relief effort and the media
    piloried, nay, crucified, him for it. Now, New York City is
    virtually immobile, people are dying in the cold, and where
    is the current President? Hawai’i. Where is the media outrage?
    Don’t bother staying tuned.

  9. Nosmo says:

    River O, you are right. Global warming proponents (in the scientific community) have always known that rising CO2 levels are a lagging indicator resulting from a warming climate and NOT the cause of the warming.

  10. proreason says:

    “Which just goes to show how well accurate prognostication is rewarded in the ‘global warming’ game.”

    oh they’ve change the prognostication rules.

    The proof is 50 to 100 years in the future you see. Everything between now and then “will fluctuate”.

    And all that nonsense about the scientific method? That has changed to for a few selective behaviors and natural processes that are simply too complicated to lend themselves to detialed predictions…..like climate change, and the results of any liberal policy.

    Science is so so yesteday. We’re making progress baby. Science was a capitalist sham anyway, designed to oppress people whose descendents now vote liberal. The choice for the future is clear, either a human nirvana many (or even more than many) decades in the future, or certain obliteration within 10** years.

    (note: ** indicates the number is subject to being adjusted by people way smarter than you.)

  11. Rusty Shackleford says:

    This was posted by a contributor at American Thinker and was so good, I copied it and saved it for future reference/use.

    “Climate is “average weather”. Thus we say the tropics have a “hot and humid climate” because they have a persistent higher temperature and humidity than other parts of the globe. The problem with trying to predict temperature, the hobgoblin of the controversy, is that:

    (1) the computerized mathematical climate models from which temperature projections are made, are incomplete;

    (2) the dynamics of climate are poorly understood implying that the mathematical models are at best gross approximations of reality;

    (3) there are hundreds of variables involved, and the relation among many of them is poorly understood;

    (4) the mathematical equations describing climate are not solvable over long time frames without a huge number of unverified assumptions;

    (5) climate is a mathematically chaotic system not readily formalized in the equations of calculus;

    (6) there is no current practical way of determining the “average temperature” of the surface of the planet anyway;

    (7) “average temperature of the earth” is probably a meaningless quantity;

    (8) the mathematical climate models in backtesting have failed in predicting just about everything.

    And that is just the tip of the “human caused global warming fraud” iceberg ( pardon the pun). “

    • proreason says:

      The variables are variable.

      The “hundreds” of variables include sun, moon, earth’s rotation, internal earth combustion, solar winds, man’s activities. But man’s activities, in any significant way are new in the last couple hundred years….so how could they be backtested? And it’s not just fossil fuels. Man has driven whole species extinct and allowed others to thrive. The entire eco-system is unlike any that has ever been on earth before

      But wait, there’s more. Comet and asteroid collisions are totally unpredictable an have had MAJOR impacts on climate that have lasted millions of years. How do you backtest that? Volcanoes are a little more predictable, but vulcanism is much different now than ever bofore. And that is just two examples. There are many more variables that have been added or removed from the mix over time.

      And then, of course, there are feedback mechanisms. It gets hot; cool air rushes in. Sun spots happen; the earth’s chemistry reacts. The Gulf streams heats up; icebergs in Greenland melt. And hundreds, perhaps thousands of others; some significant now but not in the past, and vice versa.

      I’m not opposed to studying the climate or making predictions.

      But attempting to change human behavior based on an unproven theory that can’t be backtested and hasn’t made even one vaid prediction, and that can’t possibly play out as predicted in a computer model is sheer lunacy.

      But it is sure has helped Al Toad’s bank account.

  12. Mae says:

    Spending a little end-of-year time reading Shakespeare and ran across this from “Measure For Measure” Act II:

    But man, proud man, 

    Drest in a little brief authority,
Most ignorant of what he’s most assured, 

    His glassy essence, like an angry ape, 

    Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven 

    As make the angels weep. 

    • River0 says:

      Brilliant! “…Most ignorant of what he’s most assured, His glassy essence…” Veritas quidem, benedictus maximae.

      All over Britain – and even here in Virginia – snow removal equipment was allowed to deteriorate, or was even scrapped. So when snow did arrive, municipalities were helpless in many cases.

  13. yadayada says:

    one geologically teeny eruption of a volcano in Washington 1980 released more “greenhouse gases” and pollutant vapors than all of human history.
    but evil (especially American) humans are causing climate change?
    how long has Kilauea been spitting at scientists?
    mental disorder is the only explanation for belief in global warming.
    making $$$ off the lunacy is brilliant, I wish I gotten in on the carbon credit business in it’s infancy.

  14. Anonymoose says:

    I was just thinking about the “no more snow” thing this morning. I don’t remember every single winter but here’s my recollections for the past few years:

    1999: A fall that went on forever until mid-December, when winter finally came with a huge storm
    2000: Winter never really seemed to arrive, and it was 70 degrees at Christmastime.
    2001-2003: Winters with cold spells and rain but little snow.
    2004: The summer was unusually cool and rainy and the grass was green even in August.
    2005: Back to another fall that didn’t end until December
    2006: Almost normal winter but the following January had the biggest ice storm in 30 years.
    2007: Cold and long winter.
    2008: Cold and long winter
    2009: Rainy fall leading to another cold winter, with record lows
    2010: It snowed in Arizona.

    In 2000 I began to wonder if something really was going on with the Global Warming; and in 2004 people were remarking the snows were the first they had seen in a few years. But since 2006 it’s been more like heading back into normal/cold weather again.

    • AcornsRNutz says:

      Not sure where you are from, but in Maine my recollections are pretty similar. Since 2000, Winters there have been GENERALLY shorter and later here. However, temperatures and snowfall quantities have varied as they have done since I can recall in my life. I saw snow over my head at Christmas time when I was a kid, and crushing back to back blizzards in March after mild winters as recently as 2004-5. It’s a weird region meteorogically, for a number of reasons, and C02 is probably very low on that list.

      OF course, when it is “unseasonable” anything in a given place it is proof of global warming, but cold snaps in winter and heat waves in summer in a given region are met with “well, climate change affects the entire planet, regional concerns don’t show the whole picture”. The beauty of defending this fantasy is that becasue it is utterly false, you can say whatever you feel to rationalize it.

  15. canary says:

    need the opinions of you experts. We are having a local rash of steeling copper wiring from electric grids. A few year old Nation wide government report figuring it’s do to people on drugs whose judgment is impaired from the drugs are willing to endanger their lives at thee electric grids rather than steal it from somewhere else doesn’t cut it for me. I think they’d be in too much a hurry to get their drugs than make and leave a threatening sign. duh. The uni-bomber is in prison.

    So, is there a reason global green monsters would be behind it, when they seem to be on the rise
    in my neck of the woods. Or could it be the rise of Muslim extremists.

    P.S. I’ve been checking on that type battery the electric cars are using. They are dangerous and toxic. And worse I read that we would have to get the lethal ingredients from anti-American countries.

    Please: Continue being active in tea parties. It’s working, and gives the U.S.A. and sets a shining example to the world that not all Americans agree with our stupid government. I think every country knows what “tea” and a “party” is a nice thing. Even if Afghanistan as our soldiers die and get blown to pieces serving tea & building well water to make it with, that it is a friendly gesture.

    • DW says:

      For whatever it’s worth, canary, metal prices are up and copper just hit a record high.
      People do love to steal copper for some reason and I’ve known people who talked about stealing rolls of electrical cable to help pay for pot.
      I also recall one individual who tried hacksawing a buried cable one fall day (we found what was left of him the following spring). Maybe a druggie, definitely a candidate for a Darwin award.

  16. AcornsRNutz says:

    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 0.6°C 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.

    The above indicates how dumb these people are. There have been 2 decades since 1990, one since the end of the nineties. So your prediction was obviously wrong, or the record should have been broken by now. It obviously has not been, or the media would have been trumpeting this fact from every rooftop. As it turns out, this guy failed to predict 10 years of average COOLING from 2000-2010. To make matters worse, whatever “international community” believes this kind of thing is coming soon to the USA.

    • canary says:

      AcornsRNutz, The UN Agenda is already being followed in the U.S. Federal stimulus money is given to those that follow the UN Agenda 21 agenda, aside locals voting for issues to go green. There are govt green orgs aiding the towns to get it done, and apply for the stimulus grants. They are not one time grants. The green orgs and their contracted shovel termites are eating well from the set up.

    • AcornsRNutz says:


      Oh, it occured to me shortly after I made my initial comment that “coming soon” was probably relevant when this article was first written. You make an excellent point, and its sort of amusing that in the 10 years where weather activity actually disproved most of these idiotic doomsday prophecies, the people who believed them actually took over most of the world’s most powerful governments.

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