Yes, the extreme cold in the UK right now really could be a result of global warming.
There were two silent calls, followed by a message left on my answerphone. She had a soft, gentle voice and a mid-Wales accent. “You are a liar Mr Monbiot. You and James Hansen and all your lying colleagues. I’m going to make you pay back the money my son gave to your causes. It’s minus 18 degrees and my pipes have frozen. You liar. Is this your global warming?”. She’s not going to like the answer, and nor are you. It may be yes.
There is now strong evidence to suggest that the unusually cold winters of the past two years in the UK are the result of heating elsewhere. With the help of the severe weather analyst John Mason and the Climate Science Rapid Response Team(1), I’ve been through as much of the scientific literature as I can lay hands on. (Please also see John Mason’s article, which explains the issue in more detail(2)). Here’s what seems to be happening.