Sunday 18 February 2018

Nature plays a November trick

Roses are blooming in Dublin's Botanic Gardens. Bees are still busy. Birds are chirping, almost as if this were spring and not late autumn. Yesterday the temperature in Dublin was 16.6 degrees.

Was it climate change, foreshadowed by the unusually mild weather and even more strikingly by the recent exceptionally heavy rain -- and by the snow and ice with which we struggled a year ago and also the year before?

Perhaps not. Ever since modern records began, Ireland's climate has been noted for its sudden and frequent variations. The shocks of recent years have been within, though sometimes narrowly within, the known standards.

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