Warming world evident in our own backyards
Sunday 12 December 2004
Those who seek evidence of global warming need look no further than their backyards. The great British winter is melting away. Fourteen of the last 16 winters have been abnormally mild. Only 1995-96 was really cold, and the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit says the chances of another great freeze, as in 1963, are "vanishingly small".
No longer can one write of the English winter, as Byron did, "ending in July to recommence in August". Autumn is ending later, spring starting earlier. British birds breed an average of nine days sooner than in the 1950s; frogs mate up to seven weeks earlier. The growing season has increased by 24 days since 1970. Two-thirds of Europe's butterfly species have moved northwards, some by up to 150 miles.
As reported in The Independent on Sunday two weeks ago, the Inuit and other Arctic peoples have been literally lost for words at the arrival of robins, barn owls and other species for which they have no names. Flowers are blooming on the Antarctic peninsula, where average temperatures have risen by 9C in the past 50 years. The Arctic icecap has thinned by 40 per cent in 30 years. The 10 hottest years on record have all occurred since 1990.
As facts pile up, it is scepticism to global warming, rather than scenarios of a hotter world, that is becoming science fiction. Michael Crichton - who gave us Jurassic Park - is about to publish a new novel, State of Fear, attacking the "creepy" scientific consensus on climate change. As he arrived in Britain last week to promote the book, he needed only to look out of his hotel window to see the effects of global warming for himself.
'Mini ice age' coming in next fifteen years, new model of the sun's cycle shows
African wildcat caught on camera riding on the back of rhino in rare footage
Cecil the lion death: Here is how you can actually help lions in the wild
Margaret Atwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'
Cecil the lion killing: How his death could save other animals from suffering the same fate
- 1 Windows 10: man updates PC, wakes up to find porn slideshow on repeat
- 2 The 'world's most beautiful vagina' has been debunked by science
- 3 John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
- 4 Supermodel Gisele Bundchen mocked for wearing a burka to avoid being seen visiting plastic surgeon in Paris
- 5 Bulletproof armadillo puts Texas man in hospital after shot bounces off hard shell
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a leading company in the field ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£26041 - £34876 per annum: Recruitment Genius: There has never been a more exc...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...