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Thomas Jones writes:
On a damp, chill, blustery August afternoon in Whitby a few years ago I overheard a disgruntled holidaymaker declaiming – to his family, to anyone who would listen, to the wind – that ‘global warming is a load of codswallop.’ One of his children, a boy of around ten, was valiantly trying to explain to him the difference between climate and weather. But he wasn’t paying attention, or couldn’t hear over the gale and the sound of his own voice. ‘Global warming,’ he insisted again, ‘is a load of codswallop.’ This year’s April snows provoked similar sentiments in many quarters. ‘After such a long spell of cold, wet weather,’ Channel 4 News asked, ‘should scientists admit that the drastic temperature rises they predicted have failed to materialise?’ A few days later, Nature Geoscience published a paper showing summer melting on the Antarctic Peninsula at a level ‘unprecedented over the past thousand years’.