Ok so having just experienced the coldest night on record in the UK is possibly not the best time to discuss global warming! However, new data from the Met Office indicates that this year is heading to be the hottest or as a minimum the second hottest on record.
Until now, the hottest year in the UK on record was 1998, when temperatures were pushed up by a strong El Nino – a warming event in the Pacific. This year saw a weaker El Nino, and that fizzled out to be replaced by a La Nina cooling event. Because of this scientists expected this year’s temperatures to be substantially lower than 1998 – but they are not. Within the bounds of statistical error, the two years are likely to be the same.
So is this finally proof that the world is warming and that we are to blame?
Climate sceptics say that until now, warming has plateaued over the last decade. The Met Office agrees that the rate of warming has slowed – but it maintains that this is due to natural variability, not because man-made warming has stopped.
They think factors in the slower warming may have been a combination of the following – a natural downturn in solar radiation; a small reduction in water vapour in the stratosphere; a possible increase in aerosol emissions from Asia; and the fact that strong warming in the Arctic is poorly represented in the way data is collected.
What ever the result I still cannot believe that we are not warming the planet. All I would ask is if people can keep an open mind – perhaps if people had listened to the ‘cranks’ around 5 years ago who warned about the way the worlds finances were going we would not be in the financial mess we are now in.
Think about it!