Sunday, 5 December 2010

Global warming and the disappearing snowmen

The snow outside is starting to recede. From being over a foot deep it is now turning to slush and ice as daytime temperatures slowly climb above freezing.

This was the fourth heavy snowfall in less than two years, and for the South of England, where these events were previously counted by the decade, it's proved quite a shock. Roads and airports have been closed, with children sent home from school, and now more severe weather is on the way.

And all this as our planet is getting warmer, which raises one important question:

Where are all the snowmen?

These cheerful fellows usually arrive with the very first snowfall.

As if by magic they appear in gardens and parks, standing motionless, sporting scarves and hats, coal black eyes staring and somehow growing daily, until the local children tire of patting and pampering them. Then that's where they remain, ready to shrink and crumble as the green grass returns around them.

But not any more.

In all my surrounding neighbourhood, I have seen just a couple of these chilly chaps, neglected and lonely, each rise in temperature drawing them closer to the ground.

Children have already learned to accept the snow as quickly as they learn to use a computer or mobile phone. Yes, they still like to play and have snowball fights, but build a snowman?

That's just a childish chore.