Sunday, 29 April 2018

Climate change?

My friend and I were walking back to the car after our usual lunch out today.   The wind was very chilly and there was rain in the air.   The sun kept making a fleeting appearance.   We were speculating.

When I was young we learned to swim in our local river - the Witham. As I remember it we started around now and we seemed to go down to the river every night after school to swim.   Day after day the Summer days were warm.

My friend suggested that it really was not like that at all; that we only remembered the sunny, warm days but that really the climate had not changed all that much, it was our memories which were faulty.
The same would also apply I suppose to the Winters, when it always seemed to snow and we were able to go sledging night after night after school.

Is this how it was do you think, or has there really been a change in the seasons?   Derek, walking daily as he does in the Nature Reserve on the Isle of Sheppey, talks today of forecast rain overnight and for most of tomorrow, rain which will  without  a doubt wash out the nests of all the ground nesting birds and almost certainly drown any chicks which have already hatched.   Last year the drought down there made it a disastrous season, now this year it is the excess rain.   Has it always been like this or has our climate really changed?   What do you think?

20 comments:

Rachel Phillips said...

It has always been like this.

Penhill said...

I agree with Rachel.I look back to the summer holidays when I was a child in the fifties,it was always sunny,infact it wasn't.The great thing about our weather it is always unpredictable.

Derek Faulkner said...

In respect of the Isle of Sheppey I would disagree with Rachel. The extremes of weather have become much more frequent here in recent years. We also used to have four distinct seasons, not the out of season hotch-potch that we now get.
To add to the list of bird casualties over the next 24 hrs, I would also add the eggs or young
of Rooks, that will get flung from nests as the tops of trees shake violently in the gales.

the veg artist said...

School holidays always seemed sunny, especially in the country, but I think the truth is that we didn't really have to go out on rainy days, so perhaps didn't notice the rain as much. I certainly noticed the rain in my early teens. I had to walk a long way to my senior school and would often get very wet. I remember we steamed our way through the morning, only to get soaked again walking home. This is West Wales, though!

diana said...

I believe the climate has changed. We seem to have summer and winter with no spring or fall. I taught at the same school for 28 years and I could always tell when the school year was almost over by the leafing out of the huge oak trees on the playground....always the first of May. By the time I retired in 2004 they had begun their leafing in April. My apple tree now buds before the bees return.

Charles said...

If it rained heavily at prep school in the early 1970s we had a “stay in” which meant we could play inside instead of doing games or going for a run. It did not happen very often. I do not think the weather has changed much. For all the talk of warmer weather I cannot remember the last good summer with weeks of warm weather. I remember 1989 being good and 1990 and a couple since then but nothing recently.

I am not even sure things are that much more extreme, it might be a bit wetter but then again it might not be. It’s english weather, it changes. I am Supposed to be going fishing tomorrow but it looks like it’s going to be lunch instead, trying to cast a fly in a gale is just not fun. Gales, rain and 4 degree temperatures in the south of England on the last day in April...global warming would be welcome if it made an appearance. I can remember this sort of weather at this time of year in Yorkshire in the late 1970s when I was at Leeds University. Nothing changes that much.

Joanne Noragon said...

I think we've slipped at least a month. Winter now is lasting well into April. It snowed here last week, and overnight temps have been near freezing. On the other side, pleasant fall days are lasting up to Thanksgiving, or past. But winter has set in with a vengeance then, hasn't it.

jinxxxygirl said...

I think the climate has changed Pat. Although i don't know how much we are the fault.. Perhaps it is just the natural course of things... nothing stays the same... Hugs! deb

Bovey Belle said...

We have been here in Carmarthenshire for 30 years now. In late April/May when we first arrived we could rely on a really hot spell when our stream used to dry up. Now we occasionally get a few days (as we did recently) of hot weather, but it doesn't last. The last few big weather events have dropped below us too and hit the South and the West Country. I think weather patterns change, and El Nino has a big knock-on effect. If you look at the quarternary records, https://www.qra.org.uk/what-is-the-quaternary/ it is obvious that the time periods relevant to changes in climate are gigantic - and a 50 year period of more recent changes isn't even a hiccup in the big scheme of things and I feel cannot be called "climate change".

Ruth said...

My memories are pretty much like yours, Pat. Lately I've begun to realize how our memories can be a bit faulty even though the past seems as though it were yesterday. Our minds play funny tricks on us. I do worry about the weather, and I'm sure there must be climate change going on. I remember reading about snow in July - I think this is what it was:
http://www.milbridgehistoricalsociety.org/previous/no_summer.html I'm sure there are other strange weather happenings - maybe there really isn't anything new under the sun. In truth, I fear we've made some changes on this earth that actually are new. Time will tell, and we won't be here to see it!

Cro Magnon said...

I was away at 'Prep school' when I learned to swim (thrown in), and the pool was down in a field, some half mile from the school buildings. It was spring fed, with no added chemicals, and often contained snakes toads or tadpoles. I loved swimming and never considered the temperature of the water. If it was very cold we just screamed a bit on entering, but that was it.

thelma said...

Well the Gulf Stream which keeps UK warm is getting sluggish in its movement due to climate change according to the scientists, so things are happening. The Isle of Sheppey's birds are a sad case of change. When you look around, the plants and birds are welcoming in a very cold spring/summer, they at least are tougher than us humans...

Sue said...

I believe the climate inevitably will change over the decades but it is also true that we tend to remember the sunny days.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Climate has changed but it's only a degree or so warmer, so not something you're likely to notice. I do know that someone researched the amount of days lost to rain in cricket matches and, even though we remember those long hot summers, it's always been about the same. All of which is little consolation as I look out this morning at grey skies, rain and a cold north wind.

Heather said...

I seem to remember only the extremes of weather from my childhood, but there did seem to be many halcyon days making dens in hedges and crawling through tall grasses and wildflowers in Granny's paddock. We don't seem to have such harsh winters as I remember from my younger years. Is that because we didn't have central heating then, or that I moved from the east and later the north down to the slightly gentler west country? Too many ifs to make a decision.

Tom Stephenson said...

All I know is that as a rule of thumb, if you are left-wing you believe in climate change and if you lean to the right you don't.

Gwil W said...

It is the warmest April average ever recorded in Austria by a margin of 4 C. The highest temperature recorded so far this April is 86F or 30C. There was a graph in the newspaper which showed the marked difference to previous years. The glaciers are receding as you can tell when go to look at them and compare what you see to photos taken 50 or a 100 years ago.

donna baker said...

All I know is I hope I don't live to see another ice age. I need warm sunny days.

Devon said...

Here in Northern California... a good 10 hour drive from sunny Southern California, the weather has changed. We used to have snow regularly in the winter months and 4 very defined seasons. Now we have warm and hot with a few cool days thrown in for good measure. I am a gardener and see how my annuals have become perennials. I can now grow most vegetables outside year round. This is a huge change.
We have massive fires as everything has become tinder dry. I have lost many redwood and sequoia trees as the deep ground water has diminished greatly.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I don't know if it's really colder or warmer now ... I'm certainly more of a wimp these days.