3/20/2000, "Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past,"
Independent UK, Charles Onians
"According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, within a few years winter snowfall will become "a very rare and exciting event".
|12/25/09, North Yorkshire, UK|
The effects of snow-free winter in Britain are already becoming apparent
This year, for the first time ever, Hamleys, Britain's biggest
toyshop, had no sledges on display in its Regent Street store. "It was a
bit of a first," a spokesperson said.
Fen skating, once a
popular sport on the fields of East Anglia, now takes place on indoor
artificial rinks. Malcolm Robinson, of the Fenland Indoor Speed Skating
Club in Peterborough, says they have not skated outside since 1997. "As
a boy, I can remember being on ice most winters. Now it's few and far
between," he said.
Michael Jeacock, a
Cambridgeshire local historian, added that a generation was growing up
"without experiencing one of the greatest joys and privileges of living
in this part of the world - open-air skating".
Warmer winters have significant environmental and economic implications, and a wide range of research indicates that pests and plant diseases, usually killed back by sharp frosts, are likely to flourish.
But very little research has been done on the cultural implications of
climate change - into the possibility, for example, that
- our notion of Christmas might have to shift....
snow will return occasionally, says Dr Viner, but when it does we will
be unprepared. "We're really going to get caught out. Snow will
probably cause chaos in 20 years time," he said.
The chances are certainly now stacked against the sort of heavy snowfall in cities that inspired Impressionist painters,
as Sisley, and the 19th century poet laureate Robert Bridges, who
wrote in "London Snow" of it, "stealthily and perpetually settling and
|11/26/10, Powys, UK|