GLOBAL WARMING? IT’S THE COLDEST WINTER IN DECADES
ICE-AGE: Frost coated much of Britain yesterday
By Tony Bonnici
NEW evidence has cast doubt on claims that the world’s ice-caps are melting, it emerged last night.
Satellite data shows that concerns over the levels of sea ice may have been premature.
It was feared that the polar caps were vanishing because of the effects of global warming.
But figures from the respected US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show that almost all the “lost” ice has come back.
Ice levels which had shrunk from 13million sq km in January 2007 to just four million in October, are almost back to their original levels.
Figures show that there is nearly a third more ice in Antarctica than is usual for the time of year.
The data flies in the face of many current thinkers and will be seized on by climate change sceptics who deny that the world is undergoing global warming.
A photograph of polar bears clinging on to a melting iceberg has become one of the most enduring images in the campaign against climate change.
It was used by former US Vice President Al Gore during his Inconvenient Truth lectures about mankind’s impact on the world. But scientists say the northern hemisphere has endured its coldest winter in decades.
They add that snow cover across the area is at its greatest since 1966.
The one exception is Western Europe, which has – until the weekend when temperatures plunged to as low as -10C in some places – been basking in unseasonably warm weather. The UK has reported one of its warmest winters on record.
However, vast swathes of the world have suffered chaos because of some of the heaviest snowfalls in decades.
Central and southern China, the USA and Canada were hit hard by snowstorms.
Even the Middle East saw snow, with Jerusalem, Damascus, Amman and northern Saudi Arabia reporting the heaviest falls in years and below-zero temperatures. Meanwhile, in Afghanistan snow and freezing weather killed 120 people.
In Britain the barmy February weather came to an abrupt halt at the weekend as temperatures plunged to -10C in central England.
Experts believe that this month could end up as one of the coldest Februaries in Britain in the past 10 years.
The freezing night-time conditions look set to stay around -8C until at least the middle of the week.
A Met Office spokesman explained: “There has been little or no cloud cover across England and Wales. So there is a capacity for a fair bit of heat to be able to escape at night.
“It has been warmer in Scotland but that’s because it has been cloudy there.
“Until the weekend the temperatures were in the 14s and 15s, and we will see a return to that later this week, though it will look grey and overcast when the clouds return.”
But he added that there was little chance of snow. He said: “When the rain comes it will get warmer.”