Snowfalls a thing of the past

Oh, how Charles Onians must regret penning those words!

In March 2000, The Independent carried a story titled Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past, which opened with a surprising claim:

Britain’s winter ends tomorrow with further indications of a striking environmental change: snow is starting to disappear from our lives.

Charles went on:

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… Global warming, the heating of the atmosphere by increased amounts of industrial gases, is now accepted as a reality by the international community… 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… 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.

No, Dr Viner, it was only eight years before snow caused chaos in Britain, and then not for being merely present, but for its great magnitude.

The Northern winter of 2008/09 was very cold, 2009/10 was even colder, with chaos, and now 2010 is breaking records, with greater chaos.

Your prediction was useless.

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7 Thoughts on “Snowfalls a thing of the past

  1. Andy on 31/12/2010 at 8:47 am said:

    However, the UK Met Office are still sticking to their line that cold winters have a 1/20 probability of occurring. So, three cold winters back to back, as the UK has had, occurs with a probability of 1/8000

    Bets on for next winter?

  2. Andy on 31/12/2010 at 8:48 am said:

    Prof Mike Lockwood says that we could have one or two centuries of freezing winters, even in a warming world.

    Nice work if you can get it.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 31/12/2010 at 9:45 am said:

      In defense of Mike Lockwood, I think you’ve got him wrong. Remember he’s on “The List” and FWIW, I agree with him.

      I’ve just finished a “de-trending” exercise on the 7SS NZTR (See NZ ETS: Analytic Negligence” and “December 20, 2010”) where I managed to establish the general global warming trend since 1850 (y = 0.5x + 13.6 i.e.the “normal” climate). Approx 38% of the normal rise is attributable to solar variability and 42% to residual non-solar climatological causes. Once that rise is subtracted from the 7SS, there’s only 0.1 C warming from 1963-2009 and the local NZ warming rate per century is only 0.22 C (UHI?).

      I’ve also just finished reading “New Little Ice Age Instead of Global Warming?” by Dr. Theodor Landscheidt that contrary to what the title suggests, clearly shows how the climate varies above (global warming) and below ( Maunder, Dalton Minimum) a baseline but what is the baseline?

      I’m now convinced that the practice of creating a moving 30 year flat average baseline (normal climate) from which to calculate temperature anomalies is of no value to describe climate and that “normal” is the normal global warming trend – whatever that is.

      Remember too, that it was Mike Lockwood along with Harrison, Woollings and Solanki that came out last year with a possible explanation last year when the NH was snowed under.

      See “Are cold winters in Europe associated with low solar activity?”

      These guys are solar experts not warmists (I didn’t watch the vid BTW, so may be talking rubbish).

    • Richard C (NZ) on 31/12/2010 at 9:55 am said:

      “there’s only 0.1 C warming from 1963-2009 and the local NZ warming rate per century is only 0.22 C (UHI?).”

      That was after applying a 15 year moving average to the anomaly resulting from subtraction of the 7SS from the general warming trend (starting at 1850), so a bit misleading here.

      Once you plot that anomaly (data at “December 20, 2010″), the picture becomes crystal clear. Makes NZCSET v NIWA more interesting too.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 31/12/2010 at 11:29 am said:

      Re Mike Lockwood, I saw this in Bishop Hill comments:-
      Here is Mike Lockwood in 2007. Note the ‘we in the UK were likely to experience warmer, drier winters’

      ‘Global Warming: Causes, Predictions and Ways to Reduce the Impact
      25th October 2007
      Scientists are now 90% certain that we are experiencing climate change associated with global warming – and have been for several decades. There is now no serious scientific doubt that man-made climate change is a reality. Over ten years ago predictions were made that we in the UK were likely to experience warmer, drier winters and wetter summers along with more “extreme events” such as heatwaves and torrential rain.
      So maybe he’s seen the “sun” light. in 2010. I didn’t know he had made that prediction in 2007.

      An interesting development.

  3. val majkus on 31/12/2010 at 2:00 pm said:

    Climate Change dispatch today has 8 botched environmental forecasts
    My favourite? No 4
    4. “Using computer models, researchers concluded that global warming would raise average annual temperatures nationwide two degrees by 2010.” Associated Press, May 15, 1989.

    Status of prediction: According to NASA, global temperature has increased by about 0.7 degrees Fahrenheit since 1989. And U.S. temperature has increased even less over the same period.

    The group that did the study, Atmospheric and Environmental Research Inc., said it could not comment in time for this story due to the holidays.

    But Oppenheimer said that the difference between an increase of nearly one degree and an increase of two degrees was “definitely within the margin of error… I would think the scientists themselves would be happy with that prediction.”

    Many scientists, especially in the 1970s, made an error in the other direction by predicting global freezing:

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