Just a wee while ago, the UK Met Office told the Copenhagen summit, in headlines repeated around the world, that 2010 was likely to be one of the warmest years ever, and that the Northern Hemisphere winter would be mild.
Then Al Gore came to Copenhagen, bringing with him the Gore effect, restoring the ice caps to warming globes outside the summit:
By morning, there was so much warming love being shared that the Copenhagen globes looked like this:
Well, the good news is that as President Obama took the Gore effect with him back to the US…
The weather has now turned so foul that forecasters are now predicting the heaviest snowfalls in the Northern Hemisphere in a quarter century.
So much for the Met Office "mild winter". What does it say for the accuracy of a warm 2010?
James Delingpole reckons the Met would have a hard time beating a forecast based on cock entrails:
With friends like that, is it any wonder that the Met Office gets it so wrong so very often? Its computer models, like those of the IPCC, are so thoroughly committed to the idea of Man-Made Global Warming that they continue to predict it regardless of all evidence to the contrary from real-world thermometers. If it weren't so depressing – the Met Office, after all, plays a key role in informing public policy and therefore, in how your money is to be wasted by the government of the day (be it run by Green Gordon or Green Dave the disaster will be just as great) – it would almost be funny.
In fact it is funny, as this glorious Independent article dug up by Richard North reminds us. It was written in March 2000 and has various "experts" explaining how very soon in Northern Europe, the sight of winter snow will almost be as unfamiliar as marauding packs of wolves.
Sledges, snowmen, snowballs and the excitement of waking to find that the stuff has settled outside are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britain's culture, as warmer winters – which scientists are attributing to global climate change – produce not only fewer white Christmases, but fewer white Januaries and Februaries.
According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become "a very rare and exciting event"."Children just aren't going to know what snow is," he said.
Professor Jarich Oosten, an anthropologist at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, says that even if we no longer see snow, it will remain culturally important.
"We don't really have wolves in Europe any more, but they are still an important part of our culture and everyone knows what they look like," he said.
David Parker, at the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in Berkshire, says ultimately, British children could have only virtual experience of snow. Via the internet, they might wonder at polar scenes – or eventually "feel" virtual cold.