Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Polarised Thermometers

My MG outside the Oxfordshire Museum.

After we got the hottest week of our lives (and the hottest week in Melbourne since records began) the UK (well the south of the UK) was hard hit by snow. It was only a few degrees difference, but caused chaos. See here where Max illustrates her view of London's experience.

I was reminded of when Oxfordshire was hit by an unexpected snowfall (UK: 'Blizzard' Can: 'snow-shower' Aus: 'What was that?!') with a pretty result quickly followed by road chaos as numerous drivers tried to power out of the problem.

The wooden stocks in Woodstock.

Neither extreme is significant in climactic trends, being a peak and a trough, respectively, but the effectively complete collapse of transport services in both cities, plus other effects (the near total failure of the Victorian electricity grid being one) clearly illustrates how close civilisation really is to disaster.

Nature still has the upper hand.


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