Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Warmest Fall in Europe.

If you’re planning a ski trip to the Alps for the holidays, you may want to reconsider- the Alps are experiencing their warmest period in 1,300 years, according to some climatologists. The World Cup may not take place, but, in the grand scheme of things, skiing may actually be the least of our worries.

In France, the temperatures have been 2.9°C warmer on average for the months of September, October and November – a record since 1950. (last year was already the warmest since 1950, with an average of 1.4 oC warmer than usual). It was almost 18°C [64.4°F] in Marseille on December 5. [Le Monde, in French]. Some winter!

Source: Le Monde

The same thing is obviously happening all over Europe, including Britain which has the oldest record of temperatures in the world. In fact, temperatures from Norway to the Mediterranean are between 2 and 5 degrees (centigrade) warmer than normal:

Central England had the warmest fall since records began in 1659. Britons have been surprised by spring flowers brightening their gardens and the tardy migration of many birds. Meteorologists predict average temperatures for December, January and February will also be higher than normal. In Rome, some tourists are still wearing sleeveless T-shirts. (Forbes)

Even the birds are confused – swallows have been spotted in Northern France, something ornithologists have never seen before [cf. Le Monde in French], and if the proverb goes, “One wallow does not make a summer”, there is no saying that it is supposed to make a winter either!)

Iraq is a huge deal for sure, and so is the Middle-East, but I have a feeling that they may proved to be mere distractions from the real issue - in the long run!

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