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Weather Watch: Politicians are guilty of simplifying climate change

Latest weather news with MetDesk in Wendover

Latest weather news with MetDesk in Wendover

  • by Michael Dukes, director of forecasting at MetDesk in Wendover
 

Barely a day goes by without ‘climate change’ cropping up on the news and it’s fascinating to witness how nearly every extreme weather event is either blamed on ‘global warming’ or used to deny its existence.

Barely a day goes by without ‘climate change’ cropping up on the news and it’s fascinating to witness how nearly every extreme weather event is either blamed on ‘global warming’ or used to deny its existence.

The anti-global warming lobby were quick to react, with Donald Trump tweeting: “Our planet is freezing, record low temps, and our GW (global warming) scientists are stuck in ice.”

A week later and the world weather news is all about an extraordinary heat-wave in Australia, with temperatures of 45C (113F).

This time, politicians from the other side of the debate were quick to speculate that the heat was the fault of climate change.

However, both sides seem to have forgotten that weather and climate are not the same.

Climate, of course, is an average of the weather we experience, with the vast majority of the day to day extremes in any part of the world being perfectly normal natural variation.

Whilst one part of the globe might be in the freezer, another is very likely to be sweltering and neither say very much about the global thermometer.

Personally, I’ve long believed that the earth is warming due to increased greenhouse gases.

However, the climate system and how it responds to changes in the atmosphere is awfully complex and difficult to model.

One thing is clear though – the warming will not be a straight line upwards and there will always be large regional differences.

The difficult question of course is whether the erratic warming of the globe we’ve undoubtedly seen over the last century is contributing to an increase in extreme weather events?

Or is it just a case that today’s media means we hear more weather news than we used to?

Back at home, the changeable weather looks set to continue.

Overnight rain should clear early today to leave this afternoon and tomorrow mostly dry, albeit on the chilly side and with one or two showers.

The drier weather won’t last though with the next batch of wind and rain due later on Friday and Friday night.

At this stage, Saturday looks like being rather cold and blustery with sunny spells and perhaps a few sleety showers, while more persistent rain is due to sweep in from the west later on Sunday.

>@metdesk

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