Saturday, December 04, 2010

Climate Change

In Northern Europe, people are dying of record cold, and schools and airports have been shut down, while in southern Europe, temperatures have been moderate. There is some speculation that it may be the result of the BP oil spill's disruption of the Gulf current. Climate change may also be implicated, if the previous winter is any indication. The Financial Times notes:
The performance in combating ice in some areas seems to have benefited from the lessons of last year.

A new strategic salt reserve has prevented grit shortages so far this year and the Department for Transport is working with other departments to remove barriers to the use of tractors to clear snow-clogged rural roads.

However, the ultimate problem for the UK – and other northern European countries shivering in the severe cold – may be that preparation for severe winters and other extreme weather is growing in importance.

Climate change may be making extreme weather events more common than past calculations have suggested.

Indeed, Mr Muir questions if severe weather is as rare as statisticians sometimes claim.

“The 50-year storm seems to come around every five years,” he says.