So Much For Global Warming: December Set To Be Coldest For A Century
The cold snap all around Europe has once again raised questions about whether global warming is real or a manufactured threat.
This has been the coldest start to winter for the last 130 years, when records began. According to Ireland’s meteorological service, December has officially been the coldest month ever on record.
As the icy weather set to continue, the UK could be heading for its coldest December since 1890, forecasters said.
Despite the frozen European continent, according to NASA the world has never been so warm. NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies has said that 2010 is set to be the third warmest year on record with 2009 in second place.
In Castlederg, Northern Ireland, the temperature was minus 17.1 Celsius (1.22 Fahrenheit) on Christmas morning.
On England's south coast, members of the Brighton Swimming Club took their annual Christmas dip in the Channel, where the temperature was a refreshing 3.3 degrees Celsius (38 degrees Fahrenheit).
On the Danish island of Bornholm even a tracked military vehicle failed to get through the snow to take a midwife to the village of Tejn -- so a colleague took to her skis instead.
Rene Wang Hansen told AFP the midwife covered six or seven kilometres (four or five miles) to reach his daughter Gitte, who later was finally able to board an army personnel carrier to get to hospital for the birth of her son.
The Baltic island of some 43,000 people has been snowbound since Thursday with police advising everyone to stay at home. Hundreds of tourists and other visitors have been put up in a gymnasium and a military barracks.
In Germany, another Baltic island, Ruegen, was also snowbound and no trains were running, but rail operator Deutsche Bahn said conditions were improving elsewhere and there were no major problems.
In Moscow, icy rainfall onto frozen streets turned the Russian capital into a giant skating rink, and authorities warned residents to stay indoors while they de-iced the roads and pavements.
Traffic is traditionally heavy in the run up to the new year and the Russian Orthodox Christmas, on January 7.
But local government spokesman Igor Pergamenshik warned: "Weather conditions are very difficult in the capital.