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When it comes to climate change, we have to trust our scientists, because they know lots of big scary words

Sean Thomas — The Telegraph — June 19, 2013

Whither the weather? As you may have heard, a conference of national forecasters assembled this week in Exeter: to discuss the future of the British climate, following the spate of harsher than expected winters, and unusually wet summers, since 2007.

Already, commentators are asking if global warming is to blame. In particular, some are wondering if the direction of the Jet Stream is being altered by Arctic ice melt. Others are speculating that natural variations, such as the “Atlantic multi-decadal oscillation”, might be responsible for recent evolutions.

However, most of this reportage has been second-hand. Unprecedentedly, I had direct access to the meteorologists concerned, as I was in Exeter in spirit form, and I managed to speak to the principal actors.

First, I asked Stephen Belcher, the head of the Met Office Hadley Centre, whether the recent extended winter was related to global warming. Shaking his famous “ghost stick”, and fingering his trademark necklace of sharks’ teeth and mammoth bones, the loin-clothed Belcher blew smoke into a conch, and replied,

“Here come de heap big warmy. Bigtime warmy warmy. Is big big hot. Plenty big warm burny hot. Hot! Hot hot! But now not hot. Not hot now. De hot come go, come go. Now Is Coldy Coldy. Is ice. Hot den cold. Frreeeezy ice til hot again. Den de rain. It faaaalllll. Make pasty.”

Startled by this sobering analysis, I moved on to Professor Rowan Sutton, Climate Director of NCAS at the University of Reading. Professor Sutton said that many scientists are, as of this moment, examining the complex patterns in the North Atlantic, and trying to work out whether the current run of inclement European winters will persist.  Continue reading, here….

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