UPDATE: Read Warwick Hughes’ analysis of Sydney’s “hottest day eva” here.
But if it’s cold, it’s “just weather”. Actually, no, that’s climate change too (it’s called having an each way bet).
The agenda-driven attitudes to the reporting of any kind of extreme weather are so predictable.
Whilst the Australian media is hyperventilating over a heatwave Down Under, already attributed by several news organisations and government bodies to “global warming”, the severe snowfalls in Europe, which, we were sternly advised in 2000, would be a thing of the past, are merely an intriguing curiosity of the weather:
Extreme winter weather swept across western Europe Saturday, leaving thousands of passengers stranded at London’s main international airport and claiming several lives in Spain, Portugal and France, including those of three Mali-bound soldiers.
The frigid temperatures also caused delays and cancellations on major railway lines including the Eurostar train service, and transport authorities warned of further traffic disruptions with more blizzards forecast for Sunday.
In London, thousands of passengers were forced to camp out on the floors of Heathrow Airport overnight as hundreds of flights to and from the British capital were cancelled.
“There are lots of bodies lying around in the airport. If feels like there’s been a natural disaster,” Jerry Meng from Los Angeles, whose flight to New York was cancelled, told British broadcaster BBC.
London’s other main airports, Gatwick and Stansted, managed to operate fairly normally Saturday.
For Sunday, the snow is expected to cause a 20-percent traffic reduction at Heathrow, and French air traffic authorities have ordered a 40 percent cut in take-offs and landings at Paris’ Charles De Gaulle and Orly airports. (source)
Yes, the heat in Australia was extreme, and records were broken, but is that not to be expected? The planet is warming slowly and has been for several hundred years, primarily due to natural recovery from the Little Ice Age. It is not surprising that records will continue to be exceeded.
What is surprising is that it has taken from 1939 until 2013 for the record to be broken in Sydney, despite nearly 80 years of gradually increasing global temperatures and massive increase in the urban heat island effect in the city. And the all time record from 1960 at Oodnadatta remains.