Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

It's hardly surprising the weather's been so surprising

Gillian Whyte and Danielle Graham pictured enjoying the great weather at Rose Week. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Gillian Whyte and Danielle Graham pictured enjoying the great weather at Rose Week. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Strolling along in the sunshine at Whiterocks beach on Sunday.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
Pacemaker Press 8/7/2012 From L-R John Lennox, Kirsty McMurray, Chloe Clendinning, Ashley Jones, Thomas Pentland and Janet Martin enjoy the sunny weather at the Beach in Helen's Bay in Co Down , as hot spells hit across Northern Ireland Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Strolling along in the sunshine at Whiterocks beach on Sunday.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
A person jumps into the sea, at Carnlogh harbour in County Antrim, as the warm weather continues across the province. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 11, 2013. See PA story. Photo credit should read: Paul Faith/PA Wire
Pacemaker Press Belfast 8-07-2013: Hot Weather Hits Northern Ireland. Alex McDonnell pictured at Belfast City Hall enjoying a ice cream in the sun. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 08th July 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Rachel Bogie at the funfair on Bangor seafront as the summer sun gets into full swing at the North Coast.
Emma Morrison, and little Evie Millar, from Ballymena take in the sun at Portstewart beach on Monday.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
Lindy Roden, leads the way with Jack and Patrick Heron at Portstewart Beach on Wednesday.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
Friends Bethany Mc Clean, and Hannah Moore, lap up the sun in Portstewart Beach.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
Northern Ireland- 14th July 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Good weather and sunshine continues across Northern Ireland as temperatures reach a 30-year- high. People relax and enjoy the sun in the ground of the City Hall in Belfast.
Surfing along at Whiterocks beach on Sunday.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
Pacemaker Press 8/7/2012 Kirsty McMurray and Ashley Jones enjoy the sunny weather at the Beach in Helen's Bay in Co Down , as hot spells hit across Northern Ireland Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 8/7/2012 Josephine McAllister and Kirsty McClean cool down in the water fountain in Belfast City Centre , as hot spells hit across Northern Ireland Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 8/7/2012 Eniko Kovacs splashes around during the sunny weather at the Beach in Helen's Bay in Co Down , as hot spells hit across Northern Ireland Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Northern Ireland- 9th July 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Good weather and sunshine continues across Northern Ireland as temperatures reach a 30-year- high. Left to right. Gail Whyte from Belfast and Rebecca Woods from Loughgall enjoy the sun as they relax on Helen's Bay beach in Co. Down
Pacemaker Press 8/7/2012 From L-R Eniko Kovacs, Andrea Zemen and Gabriella Parozi enjoying the weather at Helen's Bay in Co Down , as hot spells hit across Northern Ireland Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 8/7/2012 From L-R Gabriella Parozi, Eniko Kovacs and Andrea Zemen enjoying the weather at Helen's Bay in Co Down , as hot spells hit across Northern Ireland Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Weather picture. Helens Bay in Co.Down where temperatures soared at the weekend attracting hundreds of people to the beach. From Lisburn are 18 year olds Bronagh Walsh and Victoria Sanders. Picture Mark McCormick. 06/07/13
Northern Ireland- 9th July 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Good weather and sunshine continues across Northern Ireland as temperatures reach a 30-year- high. Left to right. Sandra, Claire, Alison, Rich, Benjamin, Kelly take advantage from of their lunch hour from Urban outfitters to relax grounds of the City Hall in Belfast.
Pacemaker Press 9/7/2012 Elephants get cooled down with water at Belfast Zoo as the hot weather hits across Northern Ireland Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Northern Ireland- 9th July 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Good weather and sunshine continues across Northern Ireland as temperatures reach a 30-year- high. A police patrol at Helen's Bay in Co. Down.
Northern Ireland- 10th July 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Good weather and sunshine continues across Northern Ireland as temperatures reach a 30-year- high. Five-year-old Mia Totten from Bangor cools down in the sea at Groomsport beach in Co. Down.
Northern Ireland- 10th July 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Good weather and sunshine continues across Northern Ireland as temperatures reach a 30-year- high. Left to right. Scott Irwin(13) with his sister Rachel(5) and brother Ben(10) from Bangor enjoy some bodyboarding at Ballyholme Beach in Co. Down.
Weather picture. Helens Bay in Co.Down where temperatures soared at the weekend attracting hundreds of people to the beach. From Lisburn are 18 year olds Bronagh Walsh and Victoria Sanders. Picture Mark McCormick. 06/07/13
Northern Ireland- 9th July 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Good weather and sunshine continues across Northern Ireland as temperatures reach a 30-year- high. Left to right. Jonny Rowan, Eddie Cavanagh and Matthew Webb from Belfast play volleyball on the beach at Helen's Bay.
Northern Ireland- 10th July 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Good weather and sunshine continues across Northern Ireland as temperatures reach a 30-year- high. Two-year-old Eden Polley from Bangor cools down in the sea at Groomsport beach in Co. Down.
Hot summer Sunday at Helen's Bay Beach. having fun in the sun at Helen's Bay Beach yesterday are Bethany McBride, back, and Tori Paul, from Ballysillan.
Northern Ireland- 10th July 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Good weather and sunshine continues across Northern Ireland as temperatures reach a 30-year- high. Two-year-old Alicia Totten from Bangor enjoys an ice-cream at Groomsport beach in Co. Down.
PRESSEYE - Weather Portrush Beach - BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Image by Kelvin Boyes 9 Jun 2013
Chris Kirk and Jamie Lynn ejoying the weather in Drumglass park on the Lisburn Road yesterday
Sisters Sophie and Anna Lioe in Drumglass Park on the Lisburn Road in Belfast enjoying the weather yesterday
© Presseye Press Eye Ltd 7th July 2013. Mandatory Credit : Photo by Presseye Hot summer Sunday at Helen's Bay Beach. from left Jenna McCart, Linzi Thompson and Clare Tait enjoying the great weather yesterday at Helen's Bay Beach.
© Presseye Press Eye Ltd 7th July 2013. Mandatory Credit : Photo by Presseye Hot summer Sunday at Helen's Bay Beach. from left, Conor Hughes, Caoimhe Duggan, Cathy Schofield and brother Andrew.
07.05.13. PICTURE BY DAVID FITZGERALD The weather yesterday finally got better as the sun shone in Belfast. Eimear Nelis a Student at Queen's University enjoying the sunshine in Botanic Gardens, Belfast
© Presseye Press Eye Ltd 7th July 2013. Mandatory Credit : Photo by Presseye Hot summer Sunday at Helen's Bay Beach. Splashing around at Helen's Bay Beach yesterday are from left, Otas Maraska, samantha Jarauskaite and Kamike Ganagaite, all from Portadown
© Presseye Press Eye Ltd 7th July 2013. Mandatory Credit : Photo by Presseye Hot summer Sunday at Helen's Bay Beach. Beach Babes...Dana keenan and son Patrick (6 months).
© Presseye Press Eye Ltd 7th July 2013. Mandatory Credit : Photo by Presseye Hot summer Sunday at Helen's Bay Beach. Bogdan Jarocinski and daughter Isabella Jarocinska (1)
© Presseye Press Eye Ltd 7th July 2013. Mandatory Credit : Photo by Presseye Hot summer Sunday at Helen's Bay Beach. James Adams and Zoe Brown from Belfast, soaking up the sun at Helen's Bay.
© Presseye Press Eye Ltd 7th July 2013. Mandatory Credit : Photo by Presseye Hot summer Sunday at Helen's Bay Beach. Beach Barbie...Marta Kukie and daughter Nadia (5) with dad Timucin Bayrak.
© Presseye Press Eye Ltd 7th July 2013. Mandatory Credit : Photo by Presseye Hot summer Sunday at Helen's Bay Beach. From left, Stacey Maxwell, son Jack Braniff (6 months) and dad James Braniff
© Presseye Press Eye Ltd 7th July 2013. Mandatory Credit : Photo by Presseye Hot summer Sunday at Helen's Bay Beach. Topping up theit tans at Helen's Bay yesterday are from left, Annie Jelley, Chelcie Owens and Violet Black.
Weather picture. Helens Bay in Co.Down where temperatures soared at the weekend attracting hundreds of people to the beach. Picture Mark McCormick. 06/07/13
Gay Pride parade Belfast. 06/07/13 Picture Mark McCormick
Gay Pride parade Belfast. 06/07/13 Picture Mark McCormick
Gay Pride parade Belfast. 06/07/13 Picture Mark McCormick
The 23rd Annual Belfast Pride Parade Marchers take part in the Annual Belfast Pride Parade in Belfast City Centre this afternoon. The parade was attend by members and supporters of the LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - 6th July 2013 - The 23rd Annual Belfast Pride Parade Marchers take part in the Annual Belfast Pride Parade in Belfast City Centre this afternoon. The parade was attend by members and supporters of the LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - 6th July 2013 - The 23rd Annual Belfast Pride Parade Marchers take part in the Annual Belfast Pride Parade in Belfast City Centre this afternoon. The parade was attend by members and supporters of the LGBT community. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Friends Ben Scott, and Patrick White, from Coleraine enjoy a shower during the great spell of weather at the White Rocks in Portrush on Sunday.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-07-02013: Fantastic weather for Northern Ireland for the next few days. Amy Hanna and dog Pip pictured in the grounds in Belfast City Hall. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 06-07-02013: Fantastic weather for Northern Ireland for the next few days. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Botanic Gardens - Weather Picture - Presseye - 9th June 2013 Rachel Anderson aged 7 and her sister Ella aged 5 enjoy the weather in Botanic Gardens yesterday.

In April 1989, when then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher was still in the full flush of her discovery of the threat of climate change, she hosted a seminar on global warming for the Cabinet at Downing Street. They all had to attend. The grumbling must have been memorable.

The seminar was addressed by her favourite scientist, Jim Lovelock, the man who conceived the Gaia theory of the Earth as a self-regulating organism.

I was doorstepping the meeting, as we say in journalism – waiting outside in Downing Street – and eventually Lovelock ambled out.

I went over to speak to him, followed by a posse of TV reporters, one of whom, an American, stuck a microphone in his face and demanded: "Professor Lovelock, waddle be the first signs of global warning?"

Lovelock uttered a single word. He said: "Surprises." The TV reporter was bemused. He said: "Waddya mean, surprises?" Lovelock said: "We had a hurricane here recently. It was a surprise. There'll be more. Good day."

I have grown ever more convinced of the wisdom of Lovelock's brusque response. And I am put in mind of it by the extraordinary weather events.

It is barely a month since a conference at the Met Office suggested that the unbroken succession of wet summers since 2007 meant there was a significant shift in weather patterns towards a damper, cooler summer climate.

But now, after the coldest spring on record, we suddenly have searing heat. This has certainly surprised me; but, then, the recent run of wet summers surprised me even more when it began in 2007.

That was such a shock, because everything in the previous year suggested that 2007 might be the hottest summer ever.

Consider: the previous July was the hottest month ever recorded in Britain and July 19, 2006 was the hottest-ever July day.

Autumn 2006 was the warmest on record and the winter of 2006-7 was the second-warmest.

The 12 months from the end of April 2006 to the end of April 2007 constituted the single hottest 12-month period ever recorded.

I wrote a piece, as April ended, saying that we might expect a record hot summer of, maybe, 40C (104F). Then the heavens opened. I learned my lesson.

It's not that I now feel that global warming will not happen; nothing is more certain – unless the laws of physics are torn up. It's just that I feel it very probably won't happen as anyone has predicted.

The process is non-linear and there are too many intangibles; too many buffers in the ocean- atmosphere system.

It'll come as a surprise. But calling it is a mug's game.

Maybe the temperature record will be broken. Maybe it won't.

Maybe something else will happen with the climate, which is itself a surprise. But if there is a surprise, don't be surprised.

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