Snow joke – white Christmases will become much rarer
I’m dreaming of a white Christmas sang Bing Crosby. But new research has shown that festive coverings of snow will become much rarer, says energy expert Ron Fox.
He was commenting on the latest projections by Met Office scientists which predict that snowball fights, sledging and snowmen in the UK will be confined to the history books by climate change.
Their findings suggest that if nothing is done about the world’s rising temperatures and global emissions continue to accelerate:
- By the 2040s most of southern England could no longer see sub-zero days.
- By the 2060s only high ground and northern Scotland are still likely to experience such cold days.
- By the end of the century much of the lying snow in the UK will have disappeared entirely except over the highest ground.
“This a real wake-up call that we must act quickly about the dangers that could happen in many people’s lifetime as the rate of change in our climate is unprecedented,” said Ron Fox, of Noreus Ltd on the University of Keele Science Innovation Park (www.noreus.co.uk).
He said the worst scenario was that there would be wetter winters and hotter, drier summers with more intense downpours which would put the country’s infrastructure under greater strain. There would also be longer heatwaves with temperatures reaching a sweltering 40C.
White Christmases were more frequent in the 18th and 19th centuries, but the last festive widespread snow in the UK was in 2010 and there has been snow on the ground at 9 am on Christmas Day only four times in the last 51 years.
However, the Met Office defines a white Christmas as when one snowflake is seen falling in the 24 hours of December 25 somewhere in the UK.
At the moment the UK is more likely to see snow between January and March than in December, with snow or sleet falling an average 3.9 days in December, compared to 5.3 days in January, 5.6 days in February and 4.2 days in March.
Ron added: “Average world temperatures have risen by 1C since the Industrial Revolution and even this small change in our climate can have a huge impact on the weather and wildlife.
“But,” he continued, “Christmas is a time of hope and I believe there are positive signs that we can avoid this worst scenario.”
Already, US president-elect Joe Biden has promised to re-join the Paris climate agreement, the international pact designed to avoid dangerous increases in the world’s temperatures.
And the UK government has announced a ten-point plan to cut the UK’s greenhouse gas emission by 68% by the end of the decade, based on 1990 levels. China, the European Union, Japan and South Korea have also promised to have net zero emissions by the middle of this century.
“If individuals also support this international campaign by using green energy and by having their homes properly insulated then we can dream of a greener world, even if there aren’t many white Christmases,” concluded Ron.
“For advice about green energy contact me on 0845 474 6641 – but in the meantime have a happy and peaceful Christmas”