Global “Warming”

Weather like we’ve seen in the UK over the last twenty-four hours seems to effect people’s cognitive facilities. There’s one particular nonsense that I can almost guarantee you’ll come across in the next couple of days. That’s a climate change denier saying something like

Well this weather at least proves for once and for all that global warming isn’t happening.

I’m sure that all of my readers are intelligent enough to punch a few holes in that logic, but here are a couple of rebuttals that leapt to mind:

  • Thirty years ago, I remember weather like this happening every couple of years. We now have winters without any snow at all – which is why we are so unprepared for this weather and why it is such big news. Anyone who can remember thirty years ago can therefore see for themselves that the climate is changing, And fewer cold winters would seem to indicate that it’s warming up. No-one ever said that warming would mean we never get cold weather.
  • When people started talking about climate change, they made the mistake of calling it “global warming”. It’s true that the planet will, on average, get warmer, but that temperature rise could actually lead to cooling in some places. And the UK is a prime example of somewhere that could end up getting far colder. For our latitude, the UK is far warmer than you would expect it to be because of the warming effect that we get from the Gulf Stream. Some climate change models predict the Gulf Stream slowing down or even stopping altogether. If that happens, then the UK will become a far colder place to live.


  1. There’s an interesting bit at the end of this Times piece on the forecast for the next couple of weeks:”there are signs of a sudden shift in the temperature of the stratosphere, several miles high in the atmosphere. For reasons not entirely clear, the temperature of the stratosphere has increased and this has impacted down into the lower atmosphere, where most of our weather occurs”Emphasis added.

  2. The ‘global warming’ moniker has definitely hurt, because everything’s going ‘global’ these days, and who doesn’t like ‘warming’?I heard someone on the radio yonks ago, who was a branding expert, saying that it should really have been given an uneqivocally threatening name, such as ‘world overheating’.

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