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Hound Tor

20 March 2013
Climate change

Hound Tor on Dartmoor is supposed to have inspired Arthur Conan Doyle's 'The Hound of the Baskervilles'. It is a bleak and lonely place, a high point surrounded by open moorland (uncultivated land which on Dartmoor is wet and rugged). Weather Eye tells us that in the medieval period there were four farms on Hound Tor. Livestock was kept, and moors provided forage, but also, and somewhat surprisingly, oats and rye were grown in small fields, and vegetables and herbs on garden plots attached to the farms. How could such a bleak landscape sustain farming less than a thousand years ago. Weather Eye is emphatic – the climate at the time was warmer and benign. This was the Medieval Warm Period that various hockey sticks have sought to delete – but here is real evidence, on the ground, miles from the computer screens of climate scientists.

Is this sacrilege – warmer is supposed to be dire, not kinder to the human state. Agriculture expanded throughout the UK during the medieval period – with a migration to the uplands as population mushroomed as a result of the warmth and well being and a longer growing season, all across northern Europe.

However, it all came to an end – in a catastrophe of sorts. Nothing to do with a catastrophe induced by global warming, though, it was because the climate changed and it became wetter and colder. Farming in marginal areas became unsustainable – and people died. Lots of people. It was the cold that was the catalyst and the warmth that had been benevolent. It seems CAGW is at cross purposes with reality, and with the facts of history.

On another day in March Weather Eye turned his attention to the snow – sweeping in from Siberia. Once again the winter of 1947 was mentioned. It snowed like billy ho during January and remained on the ground through February and into March when fresh blizzards heaped woe up woe. A temperature of 21.1C or -6F was recorded in Co Durham. However, in contrast the summer of 1947 was extremely warm – may be we'll be able to grow some tomatoes outside this year. On the downside, if we have a warm summer the CAGW zealots, aided and abetted by the BBC and their cronies, will be out preaching the blarney message. Australia had a cold winter followed by a hot summer and the CAGW crowd have been singing their song, like a stuck record. Do we really want a warm summer if it means the media and the troughers become ecstatic with excitement

Weather Eye also mentioned a March blizzard in 1891 in which 65 ships were wrecked in the Channel and many lives were lost. Did global warming cause the blizzard a 120 years ago – I mean, that is what they claim about the March blizzards in 2013. You couldn't make it up.

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