January saw first snow of the year, but it was still the driest in 13 years
PUBLISHED: 13:36 14 February 2019 | UPDATED: 14:07 14 February 2019
Norwich High School for Girls
January 2019 was very much a month of two halves, the initial sixteen days being generally mild, with only a single air frost.
But from January 17 the weather turned notably colder with few nights escaping frost, bringing to a halt some signs of premature spring growth.
The first snow of winter fell on the same day, and a further fall on the January 30 gave our region a thin covering of snow.
It was a decidedly dry month, the rainfall total of 37.7mms being only 65pc of the long-term average. Locally, it was the driest January since 2006.
Winds from a northerly quarter blew on fourteen days. The monthly mean temperature of 3.8C was close to normal.
Recent research, published in the quarterly science review, states that the arrival of Europeans in the New World in the late 15th century and early 16th century, which caused genocide in the peoples of the Americas, was a significant factor in the cause of the little ice age in the 17th century and later.
The evidence to support this quite extraordinary assertion is that due to the massive reduction in the indigenous population from about 60 million to 6 million, less land would be cultivated – amounting to an area about the size of France reverting to native jungle, forest or Savannah.
The study states that this ‘rewilding’ would have absorbed sufficient CO2 from the atmosphere to greatly contribute to the global cooling during this period. It has for long been understood that the serious downturn in global temperature during this time was caused mainly by an exceptionally ‘quiet’ sun with a minimal number of sunspots, and a proliferation of volcanic eruptions ejecting dust into the atmosphere. Both these factors far outweigh any contribution to the climate at that time caused by mankind. The research paper fails to detail how this insignificant change to vegetation on a worldwide scale, could possibly make a significant reduction to the CO2 in the global atmosphere.
If the assertions made the study were correct, the huge swathes of cultivated land in today’s world would have altered the composition of the atmosphere to a degree far exceeding any change to date to the burning of fossil fuels.
Statistics for January 2019
n Total rainfall: 37.7mm (65pc of average)
n Wettest day: 8.6mm Jan 27.
n Days with rain: 13.
n Coldest day: 1.8°C, Jan 31.
n Mildest day: 11.0°C, Jan 7.
n Lowest minimum: -5.5°C, Jan 20.
n Average temperature: 3.8°C, (0.2°C below average).