Thursday, May 05, 2011

Frozen Poles

We might be basking in the sunshine in England – although it is dull and wet at the time of writing – but the Poles are not having such a good time of it. May snowfall and freezing temperatures have descended on south-western Poland, with 41 road deaths and 400 accidents reported since the May weekend began. Traffic has struggled particularly as many drivers had already switched to summer tyres.

In the Lower Silesia and Opole regions, 100,000 homes were left without electricity and temperatures have plummeted as low as 0°C in some areas as frost and heavy fog hampered traffic. Power lines also went down in Walbrzych, Jelenia Góra and the Wroclaw area after trees heavy with snow fell and brought down electricity cables.

The same story applies further east, with the previouly ice-bound Gulf of Finland only now clearing. Just three weeks ago, 38 cargo ships were awaiting icebreaker assistance.

All of this points to a cold weather system parked over eastern Euope, affecting our weather here. This puts into focus the ritual pessimism about the state of the Arctic ice. These professional doom-mongers, such as the wuzzies in the National Snow and Ice Data Centre, are getting more than a little tiresome with the constant predictions of disappearing ice.

I really would like them to pop down to the Port of St Petersburg to tell the authorities there that they are wasting all their money investigating in new icebreaker capacity. I suspect the response might be фокстрот Оскар.