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June 28, 2007

Rising tides

The flood waters now coming down the Severn have filled the Swilgate and the Avon - which is itself contributing a lot of water - and the tide at Tewkesbury is rising steadily. The usual places are already underwater and others are preparing their defences, which will be needed if the volume of water is anything like what is expected. And the weather forecasts for the next several days suggest that we aren't out of the woods yet.

Ironically the Monk has either caught a cold or his hayfever is reacting to something which has just exploded in the rain. Another day or two will tell the difference methinks, but a cold on top of hayfever is no fun I can tell you. But that is another story altogether.

No doubt this unseasonal (Is it?) weather and the rainfall will be blamed on Global Warming and used as an excuse by the nefarious and ill-informed to demand even more punitive controls on the freedom of the rest of us. But the important question is unanswered - is this the result of Global Warming or is it in reality part of a natural cycle. Look back sixty years and you discover that wet summers were a norm. So were floods. No one was claiming it to be the result of Global Warming then.

In my humble opinion we are now emerging from a rather prolonged dry spell (think of the 1930's droughts that hit Africa, Australia and the North American continent as a cyclic example) and we are now seeing the result of two things. One the ENSA - El Nino Southern Ocean Anomaly - has reveresed direction for the first time in a number of years. Second, the sun is entering an "active" phase with massive sunsport activity. Both are related to colder wetter weather globally. I think it is a case of "watch this space" rather than "hit the panic button".

In the meantime we had better hope that Mr Prescot's successors don't approve any more building or development in flood plains along the Severn, something he was rather too fond of allowing. It is that, rather than the admittedly exceptional rainfall, which has contributed to the flooding we are now experiencing. And just for the record the floods of 1746 were higher at Tewkesbury than any of more recent date. In June 1746 the Vicar had to row himself up the ailse to attend the daily Divine Service. We are nowhere near that level now.

Posted by The Gray Monk at June 28, 2007 01:10 PM

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