It was amusing to see that the most viewed item on the Independent’s website yesterday was the article “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past” from 2000.
Similar claims have been made by the BBC, of course. In February 2007 the BBC World Service’s One Planet devoted an episode to warmer winters. Here’s the presenter, BBC science correspondent Richard Hollingham, giving us his conclusion :
Richard Hollingham: Those of us who grew up with very cold winters, who tell our children that winter’s not what it used to be, we’re right aren’t we?
Brenda Ekwurzel (Climate Scientist, Union of Concerned Scientists): Yes. Absolutely. It has changed.
Hollingham: Sitting here at the BBC, leafing through my old photos, I can’t help feeling nostalgic for proper winters. This year we had just one day of snow in southern Britain. Mind you it still brought the roads, railways and airports to a standstill and shut the schools, but as most people in London, Moscow, Washington, Beijing or Oslo will testify, a cold crisp winter’s day with snow on the ground is infinitely preferable to the mild damp miserable winters many of us are having to get used to. It seems the winters of our youth are unlikely to return.
And here’s the BBC’s ‘Ethical Man’ Justin Rowlatt writing on the Newsnight blog in January 2007:
Do you remember snow? It’s that cold wet stuff you used to trudge through in the olden days.
I was reminded of the stuff – not by the weather of course – but as I looked through some super-8 footage of my family that my dad shot. It’s been collecting dust at my parent’s house for years. I dug it out because we were looking for images to use in the Ethical Man series.
I built the snowman with my sisters in January 1968. The shots of us sledging are from January 1971. It is beginning to look like my kids will be lucky to ever build a snowman in our garden.
Or how about this on the BBC Weather website from 2004:
There haven’t been to [sic] many cold winters recently in the UK and the number of days with snow cover are becoming fewer too. It’s getting harder and harder to make a snowman in Southern England! Many young children living here are still waiting to see their first white Christmas. If global warming predictions from the Met Office’s Hadley Centre are correct they may never live to see it.
Oh, won’t somebody please think of the children?
Snow – a thing of the past. Just imagine, if the powers that be had believed all this there might be chaos right now.
[Previously – BBC reports the demise of the ski industry.]