1st April - Today's News: Passengers Rescued From Snowbound Scottish Train

No April Fools here today, too much serious news around. Starting again with the problems across much of Britain caused by the unseasonably severe weather:

Snow strands passengers on train near Inverness

Also in Scotland, thousands without power overnight - and reliable reports suggest that in some parts of the Highlands up to 2ft of level snow has fallen to low levels. So no surprise that once again Scottish ski resorts snowed in. The hills could well be lethal with avalanches this weekend.

Teenager killed as school trip coash crashes in heavy snow

Heavy snow cuts off 20,000 homes in Northern Ireland

And it's not just the snow, with homes evacuated as North Wales hit by huge waves and flooding

For the record, we did have a few wintry showers here in Evesham yesterday, with a bit of sleet and small hail.

The other big news is that Professor Phil Jones has been exonerated of any wrong-doing by the first 'Climategate' enquiry, though as the Washington Post puts it 'Climategate' panel in London issues mixed report . The actual report itself can be read here with the chief conclusions being:

Conclusion 1: The focus on Professor Jones and CRU has been largely misplaced. On the accusations relating to Professor Jones’s refusal to share raw data and computer codes, we consider that his actions were in line with common practice in the climate science community. We have suggested that the community consider becoming more transparent by publishing raw data and detailed methodologies. On accusations relating to Freedom of Information, we consider that much of the responsibility should lie with UEA, not CRU.

Conclusion 2: In addition, insofar as we have been able to consider accusations of dishonesty—for example, Professor Jones’s alleged attempt to “hide the decline”—we consider that there is no case to answer. Within our limited inquiry and the evidence we took, the scientific reputation of Professor Jones and CRU remains intact. We have found no reason in this unfortunate episode to challenge the scientific consensus as expressed by Professor Beddington, that “global warming is happening [and] that it is induced by human activity” It was not our purpose to examine, nor did we seek evidence on, the science produced by CRU. It will be for the Scientific Appraisal Panel to look in detail into all the evidence to determine whether or not the consensus view remains valid.

Conclusion 3: A great responsibility rests on the shoulders of climate science: to provide the planet’s decision makers with the knowledge they need to secure our future. The challenge that this poses is extensive and some of these decisions risk our standard of living. When the prices to pay are so large, the knowledge on which these kinds of decisions are taken had better be right. The science must be irreproachable.

(My emphasis)


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