Friday, 23 December 2016

Snow in the Sahara and Saudi Arabia

Those of us who pay attention are very well aware that weather changes constantly and that much of what we call weather is down to wind direction. Here in the northern hemisphere and especially here in the UK, if the wind is coming from a northerly direction it is colder. If it comes from the east in winter it is also colder. If it comes from the west, off the Atlantic, it is milder and wetter. If it comes from the south or the south west it is warmer still.

This however seems to come as a surprise to certain newspapers. The Washington Post in particular keeps publishing stories about how warm it is in the Arctic, warm of course being a relative term. But this is in no way unusual. It depends to a large degree on wind direction and intensity. The Arctic is colder than the rest of the hemisphere beneath it largely because it gets less sunlight than the rest of us. But it can still be warmed if the wind is blowing in from the tropics.

This is yet another example of global warming alarmists confusing, possibly deliberately, weather and climate. The weather is a short term phenomenon that is affected by any number of factors. Climate is a long term one that can only be measured over years or preferably decades.

Currently the northern hemisphere is cooling at a rapid rate. This is down to the fact that the planet recently warmed up thanks to a particularly strong El Nino. This was inevitable reported by the Washington Post, The Guardian and the BBC as proof of global warming. It wasn't. It was weather, albeit on a huge scale. El Ninos are vast and can change weather patterns for months on end. Now the latest El Nino has ended and so there has been rapid cooling. We are returning to the mean and quite possibly will have a period of cooler than average temperatures.

This week, for instance, there has been snow in the Sahara and heavy snowfall in Saudi Arabia where sub zero temperatures have been reported. This is unusual but not unprecedented. It is just weather. But you will look in vain for it to be reported in the Post.

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