Comment »Posted on Monday 2 February 2009 at 4:12 pm by Jacob Aron
In Climate Change & Environment, Happenings

I was planning on reviewing David Attenborough’s new show, broadcast last night, but it’s hard not to pass comment on the snow. Britain seems to have ground to a halt after what feels like continuous snow fall since yesterday evening. Imperial have cancelled lectures both today and tomorrow, so it looks like I won’t be venturing outside for a while.

If you’re also “snowed in” (an absurd phrase for 10cm or so worth of snow!) perhaps this news from the Complutense University of Madrid will offer some hope: Europe is set for fewer days of extreme cold but more of extreme heat.

A study of 262 observatories analysing the minimum and maximum daily temperatures from 1955 to 1998 has found that days like today will be less frequent in the future. The average minimum temperature has risen from 0.5ºC to 1ºC, whilst the average maximum has moved from 0.5ºC to 2ºC. The study took place over 34 European countries, but the trends were particularly noticeable in Britain and Iceland.

Of course this research is actually intended to highlight the threat of global warming, and whilst a sudden outbreak of snow doesn’t mean that man-made climate change is no longer an issue, it’s hard to feel too worried on a day like today.

So, whether you prefer to stay inside, toasty, warm and releasing carbon dioxide with your central heating, or to brave the outside and enjoy the snow, just remember that this is not the answer:

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