Back in February 2009 Scotland was enjoying one of its best ski seasons for many years. Undeterred by this “anomaly” Alex Hill (then chief government advisor with the Met Office) declared:
“Scottish ski industry could disappear due to global warming”
Glenshee ski resort Scotland around 31 January 2014. Frequently cursed by marginal snow conditions it is now suffering from a severe dose of global warming.
Alex Hill, chief government advisor with the Met Office, said the amount of snow in the Scottish mountains had been decreasing for the last 40 years and there was no reason for the decline to stop.
He added: “Put it this way, I will not be investing in the ski-ing industry. Will there be a ski industry in Scotland in 50 years’ time? Very unlikely.”
An analysis of the past four decades shows that snowy days in the UK are down by a third, and the number of frosty days has declined by 26 per cent.
Mr Hill added that the current spell of wintry weather across the UK did not contradict theories of climate change.
The following winter of 2009/10 went on to be one of the coldest and snowiest for many years across much of northern Europe. And while I don’t have records to hand I believe that each winter since has provided great skiing. The scientific advice from Mr Hill is quite clear. Global warming will lead to less and less snow on Scottish mountains and the likely end of our skiing industry. Here are a few of the current snow reports:
Ongoing snow has blanketed the entire ski area with too much in places.
All runs have amazing amounts of snow.
Soft powdery snow everywhere, runs basically irrelevant as you can ski anywhere. Possible to ski to car park.
There is really deep snow all over the mountain and runs are irrelevant as you can ski anywhere. The early squad will be in to work on the upper lifts but even the piste machines are struggling with the quantities of snow.
And so to the Scottish skiing paradox. All this snow has been dumped by the same southwesterly cyclones that have caused extensive flooding in England. The UK Met Office view as reported by the BBC is this:
Climate change is likely to be a factor in the extreme weather that has hit much of the UK in recent months, the Met Office’s chief scientist has said.
Dame Julia Slingo said the variable UK climate meant there was “no definitive answer” to what caused the storms.
“But all the evidence suggests there is a link to climate change,” she added.
In Met Office double speak, climate change = anthropogneic global warming. Since the high levels of snow fall in the Scottish Mountains are linked to the same weather systems, it is implicit in Dame Julia’s statement that high snow fall in Scotland this year is also linked to global warming, the exact opposite of what Alex Hill told us just 5 years ago. As a tax paying, skiing, UK citizen I want to know if global warming is going to lead to more or less snow on Scottish mountains. Surely that is not too hard to answer.