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October snowfall in London

Snow in London last night. The BBC news report I just watched (having come home past the BBC’s television studios which were covered in the white stuff) mentioned it on the East coast of England, but no mention of it in London.

For those not familiar with London weather, the last time I can find when snow was even claimed here this early in the autumn was 1974. One eyewitness suggested it was really hailstones. I don’t remember. All I know is that today, October 28 2008 is the earliest proper winter that I can record.

Now here’s where it gets interesting. Only a few weeks ago, we were hearing that South Africa had snow, and not just that, but of the very late variety (South of the Equator, this time of year should be warming). But don’t worry, we must have a flexible view of reality: when it gets hot, it’s warming; when it gets cold, it’s warming; and when it seems to stay the same, it’s warming twice as fast.

Does global warming predict the weather right now? Only in the sense that Nostradamus predicted the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in the 1985 edition, and the fall of the Shah of Iran in the 1980 edition.

What does predict the weather we’re having is the sunspot cycle and we can now add some idea of what reduced solar wind does. [Hat tip, Instapundit]

Here’s a somewhat better forecast of the end of 2008’s weather than anything cooked up by the “capitalism causes tsunamis” crowd. Farmer’s Almanac? Maybe astrology is more scientific than the ecofascists.

37 comments to October snowfall in London

  • nick g.

    And here in OZ, we’ve had a wetter and cooler winter than expected, and our New Zealand Neighbours are trying to get us to holiday in NZ because their ski season lasted longer this year!
    The series ‘Supernature’ mentioned how Ladybugs seem to know how bad the coming winter will be, and choose their resting place for winter accordingly! What are they doing this year?

  • Laird

    “Astrology is more scientific than the ecofascists.”

    Nice line; I may “borrow” it. (I deleted the “maybe” as extraneous.)

  • Nick E

    A few inches of snowfall here in New England this past weekend, with flurries supposed to fly here in Boston tonight.

    Overall, the weather this year looks an awful lot like it did when I was a kid. You know, before George Bush started global warming by himself by initiating the Industrial Revolution in 2001.

    Yes, that was sarcasm.

  • Of course you know that this actually is evidence of global warming, correct? It’s called climate change, and it’s caused by global warming. Overall warming causes major shifts in climate patterns resulting in extreme weather of all kinds, including unseasonably cold weather.

    Face it… colder weather does prove global warming’s true, and warmer weather does, and static weather… there’s nothing you can do to prove it’s not true. Mother Nature wanted it to be that way so that you’d just have to use faith. If you could prove it with facts and science, then your desire to preserve the environment just wouldn’t seem as genuine.

    When Al gets elected he’ll make sure the UN passes a resolution to throw heretics and miscreants like you in jail for spreading blasphemies against Our Mother.


    And only because some of the actually serious ones sound about that irrational- yes I’m being sarcastic.

  • The World Series (baseball playoffs for non-Americans) was delayed yesterday on account of rain and again today. The forecast for tomorrow? Rain… with a chance of snow. This is in Philadelphia, PA, which a glance at a globe will show you is well South of London.

    Fun stuff.

  • When Al gets elected he’ll make sure the UN passes a resolution to throw heretics and miscreants like you in jail for spreading blasphemies against Our Mother.

    Only if by that time he is not done milking it for all its worth. You do know that he is in it for the money, right?

    Overall, the weather this year looks an awful lot like it did when I was a kid. You know, before George Bush started global warming by himself by initiating the Industrial Revolution in 2001.


  • I’m a little lost at what I’m reading here.

    You appear to be looking at our changed climate, and then saying “Hah, that shows climate change isn’t happening”.

    What’s the claim here? That global warming predicts that the climate will only change in ways that make it warmer? Everyone knows that isn’t what has been predicted. Or simply that “sunspots” explain everything and that mainstream scientists are too stupid to have noticed, or too dishonest to admit it?

  • UPDATE: NO MENTION OF SNOW on BBC London news this morning (Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia).

    The global warming scam, because that is precisely what it is, a scam, has been modified along “Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia” lines.

    Man-made “climate change” [invented a good decade after GW] is trotted out as the reality revision to explain any negative. Things like “global warming can produce local cooling.” Only an idiot -or a conman- would not ask if there wasn’t some contradiction there.

    My points are:
    1) that studies of what actually happens with the sun, instead of faked up computer modelling, have proved better on this occasion.
    2) this London snowfall has prompted a posting. But the reports of lower temperatures are global, on both sides of the Equator. This is not just a seasonal change, this is climate change, caused by the sun.
    3) the 50% drop in solar wind is a LOT BIGGER than any effect human could achieve on Earth, short of detonating all our nukes in one go.

  • guy herbert

    Odd weather on one or two days in a small area is just weather. It isn’t evidence for or against any global theory of climate. Any more than the behaviour Volkwagen’s share price tells you the either the state of the economy or which economist’s model to give most weight to.

    In the mid-80s in Suffolk we had snow one afternoon in July, which is the ‘earliest’ I can recall in Britain. I didn’t think it was significant then and I don’t now.

  • The global warming scam, because that is precisely what it is, a scam, has been modified along “Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia” lines.

    I’m not particularly interested in the precise details of your conspiracy theory, and I’m certainly not claiming the snow is evidence for global warming. I’m just a bit baffled as to why you think that observations of possible climate change is evidence against global warming.

    Are you actually expecting people to believe that it is claimed that global warming will only result in warmer weather? I mean, for pity’s sake, even if everything you knew about global warning was from watching “The Day After Tomorrow” you’d still know that this was a ludicrous strawman.

  • GT

    A great site to follow the scam is


  • I’m not particularly interested in the precise details of your conspiracy theory…

    Yes it is a huge mistake to think global warming is a ‘conspiracy’. It is not, it is a ‘confluence of interests’. Scientists (seeking grants from government), businesses (the rent seeking green industry) and politicians (every more control) are not sitting in some dark room plotting the overthrow of capitalism and how to foist global warming on the credulous. There is not much money to be made or political capital to be accumulated by saying the sky is not falling.

    Are you actually expecting people to believe that it is claimed that global warming will only result in warmer weather?

    That is usually what ‘warming’ means. The fact there has been the attempt to rebrand Global WARMING as ‘climate change’ shows that it occurred to some people that this tag might prove embarrassing if things did not actually get, well, warmer.

    That people who find AGW useful have perpetrated out and out frauds like the infamous ‘hockey stick’ should give you some indication that the ‘facts’ are getting constructed to suit the needs, much like ‘proven’ miracles being held up to support the idea that not only does God exists, he takes a hand in the workings of the world.

    The fraud however is not that the planet is/is not getting warmer (the climate has changed many times in the history of the planet), it is that climate change is particularly remarkable or unusual or has much to do with human activity.

    But hey, when challenging something that is the hook upon which so many business models hang (the politicals, involved quangos and ‘green business’) or is regarded as more or less religious dogma (the credulous true believers) it is unreasonable to expect rational responses. Most will take offence that you even dare ask them to entertain the possibility they might be wrong.

    But AGW is not a ‘conspiracy’ any more than any other widely accepted preposterous notion is a ‘conspiracy’ (say, ‘God’, for example). It is just that accepting such an idea as indisputable dogma suits the desired ends of a wide range of people.

  • Sunfish

    But there is global warmening!

    Normally, on the front range we get at least one blizzard in October, with meaningful snow down as low as 5000′. ‘Meaningful’ meaning ‘enough to close the roads for a day or so.’

    It’s apparently not going to happen this year.

    See? We lost our blizzard! It’s a drought and it’s warm and apparently we’re into Native American summer (First Nations summer for our canuckistani friends) and there’s no snow! Obviously, there’s warming!

    Who’s that clownshoes who channels peoples’ dead relatives on TV? John Edwards?[1]

    His fame proves everything that needs to be proven about global ‘climate change:” make your predictions vague enough and you can take credit for predicting anything. See, I predict that Perry is probably due for lunch (It being a quarter past noon in his time zone). Now, if I got this wrong and he skips lunch, I’ll throw out a random prediction tomorrow. People rarely remember the misses, but always the hits.

    On the other hand, if he has to rush out the door while I’m typing this and he grabs a burrito from the roach coach on his way to the bus…well, it’s mid-day and he’s eating. Therefore I’m right or at least I’m going to take credit for being right, and so therefore you need to elect me Vice President.

    How about I just predict that he’ll eat something before the day is out? With 11 hours 45 minutes left in his day, the odds are that he will. However, I predicted it! (Granted, I predicted something that, for most of the human race anyone could guess, but that’s like guessing that the weather will change. I’m guessing that, about eight or nine months from now, it’ll be pretty hot here.)

    [1] Incidentally, he was named “Biggest Douche in the Universe” by those who ought to know. The guy who was to save us from Manbearpig would have been a good second place, though.

  • oldandrew, I gotta tell you, I will be fascinated to see any evidence you can provide that increased CO2 levels have had any significant role in any level of climate change in the last hundred years.

    I have to emphasise tho, forecasts based on computer models do not constitute evidence of any sort. Especially given the reality that Gaia simply is not conforming to the IPCC forecasts.

    Incidently, I would love to see any forecasts, produced prior to 2002, which predicted years of flat and then declining global average temperatures.

    The simple reality, is that the AGW hypothesis as put forward by the IPCC has been falsified by observation. There may be another one waiting in the wings which better explains the last 8/10/15 years observations, but I have seen no mention of it.

    Get used to it, the IPCC is wrong.

  • Thank you Antoine for pointing out the role of the solar cycle. As a recovering astrophysicist I have been banging on about the influence of that big yellowy thing in the skies for years to little avail.

    What puzzles me is that lots of people like to think that’s it’s all our faults rather than something completely out of our control.

    It seems completely contra-human nature. I mean most people are relieved when the report comes back to say the accident wasn’t their fault right. Perhaps it’s some collective thing which means “if it’s everyone’s fault it’s noones and besides I just bought a Prius so it’s those guys with SUVs fault anyway).

  • Bravo Sunfish !!!

    I was just thinking about that South Park episode.

    It struck me that Al Gore deserves the be the 2nd winner from Earth of the Greatest Douche in the Universe award.

    BTW It may be reaching the end of its mission but the images from the SOHO probe showing energetic particles from Solar Storms hitting the Earth should have made the AGW crowd into laughing stocks long ago,

  • pete

    The planet itself is a global warming denier.

  • RAB

    We are being told over and over (Dr Gorbels would be proud) that there are two huge catastrophies facing mankind and they are entirely our stupid greedy selfish fault.
    If we do not act now and mend our ways, we are told, we are all doomed.
    The first is AGW and the second is the Global Economic meltdown.
    Since mankind wandered out of Africa stark bollock naked about 100,000 years ago, mother Nature has scared us shitless. Compared to her power and wrath we are nothing but straws in the wind.
    Our ancestors, due to ignorance, tried to appease her in many ways. Some civilisations believed that sacrificing a few virgins to the Sun God would keep him coming up in the morning. Well we no longer believe this kind of nonsense.
    Gradually, very gradually, through experiment and observation, we have gained a small amount of knowledge as to how this vastly complicated world of ours works.But it is only in the last couple of hundred years that our understanding has become even rudimentary.
    Now we are told by Call Me Al and his clever clever scientist friends that the main problem is CO2 and if we dont cut it out immediately we are finished.
    Their solution seems to me, rather similar to the one America came up with for winning the Vietnam War.
    We will have to burn down the village in order to save it.
    Am I alone in finding this all rather simplistic considering how much we do not know?
    We do not know what caused the Ice Ages, and they were far more catastrophic than what we supposedly face today, but one thing we can say is that they had bugger all to do with Mankind!

    Now let me turn to the Economic meltdown. That is manmade, completely. Economics is entirely a man made phenomenon we have devised to organise our affairs for us. We made it, so we should be able to fix it, but it has become blatantly obvious in the last few months that nobody understands how it works or what the fuck to do next, least of all our ‘ol pal Gurnin Gordan.
    So in summation, we have two huge problems one is entirely man made, and the other in my opinion isnt.
    In fact the simplistic “It’s all down to CO2 innit” is in my opinion, no further forward than sacrificing virgins to the Sun God.

  • MarkE

    What puzzles me is that lots of people like to think that’s it’s all our faults rather than something completely out of our control.

    Posted by Nick M at October 29, 2008 03:21 PM

    I see it as a form of arrogance; the belief that nothing can happen unless it is caused by human intervention. This view is about half a step away from the belief that any wrong can be righted by the passage of laws, which may be why the same people hold both views.

    I have no idea why some people find it so difficult to accept that we are not in control, and that the world is better for that lack of control, but then I don’t pretend to understand people.

  • J

    It is true that the MMGW brigade claim every unusually hot day as evidence for their theory, which is a bad thing to do. It does not mean however that it’s any less bad to claim every unusually cold day as evidence against their theory.

    The evidence that the low level atmosphere is getting hotter seems pretty strong to me. The evidence that this is caused primarily by increased levels of atmospheric CO2 is considerably weaker, but there is *some* evidence for it – it’s not a completely insane idea. There is also evidence that solar activity is responsible, but this is also simply some evidence, nothing approaching a proof.

    Now, far more people stand to gain financially from the CO2 theory being correct than for the solar theory (or some other theory) being correct. It also appears to be the case that general human herd mentality has put its weight behind the CO2 theory. Is this a bad thing? Well, in the short term it’s a lot of unnecessary human endeavour to build wind turbines that no-one needs. But then there’s lots of unneccessary human endeavour that goes on all the time. Like building fast interceptor jets, or lunar landers, or computer networks designed to withstand nuclear wars. All these things have been funded out of taxes, claiming some need to create them to protect against a threat that never really materialised. But all have ended up doing good in their own ways.

    I suspect that all our offshore wind and recycling will have no effect on the weather, but then I don’t think the rise in temperature will make us all starve or drown, and I don’t think the artificial supression of carbon based fuels will plunge us back into the dark ages either.

  • manuel II paleologos

    Fundamentally, we all know that snowfall in October doesn’t mean that Climate Change doesn’t exist.

    However, if the Climate Enthusiasts report hysterically every time we have a hot day in July (which they do), then we should be able to have our fun. And this year (snow on the ground in Jordan for 12 days, snow in Baghdad and so on) has been immensely fun.

    And if Climate Enthusiasts want to twist statistics to exaggerate their arguments (which again they do all the time) then they have to be prepared for others to do the same (like making the technically accurate but misleading statement that temperatures have declined over the past 10 years since the 1998 spike).

    Hoist by their own petard, as they say.

    At the very least, the current astonishing lull in sunspots proves that there are massive factors in climate which we are completely unable to predict, and shows once again that anyone claiming that “the debate is over” is a fool.

  • Yes it is a huge mistake to think global warming is a ‘conspiracy’. It is not, it is a ‘confluence of interests’. Scientists (seeking grants from government), businesses (the rent seeking green industry) and politicians (every more control) are not sitting in some dark room plotting the overthrow of capitalism and how to foist global warming on the credulous.

    The distinction between this scenario and a conspiracy escapes me somehow.

    That is usually what ‘warming’ means.

    Oh for pity’s sake.

  • RAB

    Oldandrew perhaps instead of the word conspiracy you would accept Concensus (of the self interested).

  • Laird

    Oldandrew, if you don’t understand the difference between a volitional, purposeful coordination of actions to achieve a specific end (i.e., a “conspiracy”) and an accidental confluence of interests by people who have no other relationship, then there is no point in talking to you. Go back to sleep.

  • RRS

    Gee – all that palaver, and not a word about the marvelous (politically correct and politician benefiting)
    carbon tax from “cap & trade;” now instituting charges for using the open air; costs to be borne by comsumers!!!!

    Has no one caught on yet???

  • The distinction between this scenario and a conspiracy escapes me somehow.

    Then you are not trying very hard. Or perhaps all widely shared, yet not covertly directed, beliefs in something are ‘conspiracies’ to you. Given that you don’t risk actually arguing your case but merely rhetorically roll your eyes, it is hard to know what you actually think.

    Let me make it simple then: a conspiracy requires people to conspire together, just ponder the semantics for a moment… whereas a confluence of interests means that quite unconnected people (who can therefore hardly be conspiring together) may all believe something because it suits their personal interests to believe it for all manner of different reasons. There is a reason I used the God analogy.

  • Pa Annoyed


    It’s not that he has any difficulty with the idea of a conspiracy, it’s that he’s just quoted the standard line of AGW-believers against the claim that it is in large parts a dishonestly-presented scam without quite understanding how the argument is supposed to work. He has no idea what it’s supposed to mean, it’s just a magic label that when attached, can discredit any inconvenient claim of deception.

    The general problem with conspiracy theories is that they get round the utter absence of evidence for whatever it is they say by claiming it was “covered up” and that there is a systematic deception.

    The essential part of this argument is the utter lack of evidence. But people who are a bit hard-of-thinking, or whose thinking is not evidence-based, figure that it’s actually the fact they’re claiming a cover-up, a deception by many people independently. (This sort of thing is supposed to be very unlikely somehow, although the argument as to why usually peters out there a bit…)

    “Deception by many independent people” equals “conspiracy theory” equals “nutter”.

    So the reason he fails to see the difference is that it still matches his operating definition for the term.

    As for the idea that we all believe the only thing predicted by global warming theory is warming – for to laugh! We have seen the list.

  • JOEL

    Well, I am impressed that the “wamers” are always shifting the area of debate. I remember well the great hockey stick graph in 1998 which showed global temperatures rising fast, with 1998 the hottest year in 2000 years or somethinig. This convinced the UN and many govts to believe in AGW. It is just odd, VERY ODD, that the warmers no longer talk about rising global temperatures.

    If global temperatures rising fast were proof of AGW in 1998, why are cooling global temperatures irrelevent in 2008?

    BTW, another easy hurricane season is coming to an end here in the USA. That’s three years in a row.

    You have to be an idiot to believe this global warming nonsense. Obviously, there are a lot of idiots. But, are we smart guys going to allow ourselves to get put on the train for transport to the East?

    I am hoping for a long, deep recession, here in the USA. I am not wishing harm for people in other countries! We, in the USA, have got to start thinking about reality, not these fantasies.

  • lucklucky

    The Bubble of Global Warming it will bust, speculators like oldandrew will be hit… 🙂

    But right now i don’t se how you guys will get out of situation you are letting be build. A Thatcher will not be enough. See this:

    Snow blankets London for Global Warming debate
    How Parliament passed the Climate Bill


  • nick g.

    The point that Oldandrew seems to miss is that these are not just a few odd cold days, but seasons that don’t obey the global alarmist paradigm. Hasn’t Britain had a lousy summer? Lousy as in low-temperatured?
    And the Winter seems like a cooler one than last year. Why shouldn’t we believe that it’s been the sun all along?

  • Lucklucky: a great article there – here’s a working link.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    perry wrote:

    That is usually what ‘warming’ means

    And Oldandrew merely bleats: “Oh for pity’s sake”.

    Oldandrew, you really are a berk. When the AGW folk were first predicting how carbon emissions would affect the world, they made it clear that it would make the world, on average, get warmer. Like, er, the opposite of getting colder. Of course, some parts of the world may get colder if AGW moves things like the Gulf Stream, or whatever, but the point is that if the Earth, as a whole, gets colder, then the AGW theory is dead. Game over.

  • @Antoine: Wow. That was a pretty inflammatory post, complete with derogatory overtones and downright insults directed at anyone who might have the temerity to disagree with your opinion. Not really very conducive to figuring out what’s really going on.

    I think global warming *does* clearly predict that some regions will experience periods of colder weather. I thought everyone informed understood this?

  • Pa Annoyed


    I’m not entirely sure what you mean by that. Global warming theory certainly doesn’t predict that the average climate will get colder anywhere. The nearest you get to that is the Southern Ocean, large parts of which they say will remain roughly the same.

    If you mean that there will continue to be weather, then yes, but it’s not a specific prediction of global warming. The weather routinely varies randomly by up to ten degrees either way over small regions, and you have to average over continental scales and larger, over several decades before you can even see the change they’re talking about, so even the three degree per century change they’re scared of is not going to banish cold weather.

    But of course the implication of these actual predictions is that global warming should be undetectable on a local scale, which means all the claims people make to be able to see its effects in action are complete tosh. It’s lying propaganda to which you’ll note the ‘scientists’ raise not one word of protest.

    What the post is taking the mickey out of is the version of global warming theory that the media and activists present – the one that breathlessly reports on animal migrations, heatwaves, hurricanes, and polar bears baking in the Arctic as signs of the coming Apocalyse. The idiotic one that thinks the greenhouse effect works like a greenhouse does (and which doesn’t know how a greenhouse works). This version certainly doesn’t predict cold weather events, it only ever mentions it to excuse it when cold weather happens and they can’t ignore it. It’s the bait and switch that annoys – utter garbage is presented to the general public as scientific fact, and then when sceptics protest, the far more cautious, far less scary (but still wrong) academic/technical version is silently substituted, and the sceptics berated for making up criticisms that “everybody informed” knows don’t apply. And as soon as that’s settled, it’s back to the “Tuvalu is drowning!” scaremongering again.

    Well, some of us are very well informed, and are well aware that the current cooling is due to La Nina reappearing after years of El Nino conditions. That it’s possibly related to a PDO switch from the warm to the cold phase. That weather shows statistical long term persistence, which means that spurious trends and oscillations appear on every time scale, which means that it’s very hard to distinguish trend from normal natural behaviour. We know that the current behaviour of the climate is not unusual by historical standards, to the extend we know about them. We know that the evidence supporting the AGW theory is not nearly as strong as claimed, and the ‘consensus’ not nearly as overwhelming. (The only surveys that have been done are unsystematic, but suggest about 20-30% of professional climate scientists are sceptics to some degree.)

    Put simply, the change that the proper global warming theory suggests has occurred so far is too small to detect. If there’s global warming, you’ll get hot and cold weather, and if there isn’t, you’ll get hot and cold weather. With the outcomes indistinguishable, you can’t look at the temperature to tell.

    But for that false media-promoted version of global warming theory that says you can, a period of widespread cold weather is fatal. Because for instances of warm weather to be evidence, it must be falsifiable, which means that instances of cold weather must falsify it.

    Global warming activists are derogatory and insulting about sceptics all the time, simply for disagreeing with their opinions. That’s another annoying double standard. If you want to “figure out what’s going on”, I’m happy to talk about it on a technical level, but my experience is that people very rarely are. There are a handful I’ve talked round to the point of questioning things a bit more, but most are not open to being convinced and are there simply to annoy and harass. It tends to make sceptics rather grumpy and impatient (and suspicious!) with questioners.

    If you want a sensible debate, then ignore all the inflammatory rhetoric and just ask your question. People might not be able to answer it, but it raises the tone of the discussion anyway.

  • Anecdotally, it’s bloody parky here in Costa Rica. Right now it’s around 19 °C (66 °F), and will probably dip as low as 15 °C (59 °F) later on. I’m not being flippant: that is decidedly cool for a place 10 degrees north of the Equator, even 3600 feet above sea level as I am.

  • lucklucky

    Thanks for link correction Alisa.