Bellamy's theory that good skiing disproves climate change 'is hot air'
SCOTLAND has enjoyed its best ski season for a decade – but experts have insisted the spell of cold weather is no sign that climate change is a myth.
They spoke out after botanist David Bellamy wrote to The Scotsman, adamant that the season of heavy snow is proof that global warming does not exist.
Scotland's five struggling ski resorts have had unprecedented levels of snow this year, and the season is expected to continue into next month.
Poor long-term snow trends have led some skiers to write off the resorts as not worth bothering about, but it is hoped this season will reverse the downward spiral in visitor numbers.
In his letter, printed earlier this week, Dr Bellamy, a self-proclaimed global-warming sceptic, said: "The Scottish skiing season is expected to extend into May. What is more, it is almost a decade since the global high-temperature record was last broken, with world temperatures now flat-lining or falling.
"The time has surely come for the people of Scotland to realise that man-made global warming possibly never was or, if it was, that it has come to an end."
Pouring scorn on efforts to tackle global warming using wind power, he added: "Your wind turbines may become even less productive than the last year's 27 per cent of maximum (output], as ice and snow play havoc with blades and transmission lines."
But Duncan McLaren, chief executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, disputed the claim that the cold winter disproved global warming.
He said: "As an ecologist by training, David Bellamy should be the first person to know that one swallow doesn't make a summer.
"One year's regional statistics are not proof of a global trend and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly that the global trend is one of warming at a dangerous rate."
Dr David Coley, global-warming expert from the Centre for Energy and the Environment at Exeter University, said there was no scientific evidence to support any theory that global warming was non- existent.
"The fact that climate change is occurring doesn't mean there's a uniform warming across the planet at any one time. It's not a simple case that everything just gets warmer without any natural variability," he said.
"You still get natural variability in the weather and some years that will mean you get a lot of snow."
And he said the temperature of the sea was a far more accurate way to measure global warming.
"One cold winter doesn't mean anything, one warm summer doesn't mean anything," he said. "But if you look at the sea temperature, that takes a very long time to change and they are all rising."
Dr Sam Gardner, WWF Scotland's climate-change policy officer, said the evidence for global warming was "overwhelming" and ignored "at our peril".
It is not the first time Dr Bellamy has voiced strong views about global warming, which he described as "poppycock" in 2004.
Last May, he jointly authored a paper in the journal of the Institution of Civil Engineers called Climate Stability: An Inconvenient Proof.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
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Wind direction: West