Azara Blog: The world is allegedly too variable for UK wildlife

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Date published: 2008/12/30

The BBC says:

UK wildlife is struggling to cope as erratic and unseasonal weather has taken its toll for a second consecutive year, the National Trust says.

It says birds, mammals and particularly insects have all suffered from a cold, late spring, a wet summer with little sunshine and a long, dry autumn.

The trust says species under threat include puffins, marsh fritillary butterflies and lesser horseshoe bats.

They warned another wet summer in 2009 could be a disaster for insects.

Studies of the past year by the trust's conservation experts show the impact of the weather and how some wildlife has become out-of-step with the usual seasonal patterns:

Matthew Oates, a conservation adviser for the National Trust, said: "Many iconic species closely associated with the four seasons are having to cope with higher incidents of poor weather as our climate becomes more unpredictable.

The BBC regularly runs "end of the world" stories just like this, all based on some press release from some "worthy" (academic middle class) organisation or other, all without any analysis or thought or verification. So, with regard to this particular article, it is not unusual to have snowdrops in January (even early January). It is not particularly unusual to have warm weather in the UK before April and then snow in April (or even later). (And this year it only snowed in Cambridge in March, not April. No doubt it snowed somewhere in Britain in April.) It is also not particularly unusual to have wet weather (ask any tourist who comes to Britain). Perhaps the National Trust will tell us which years over the last 50 (say) have been "normal".

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