Quite a few people have been looking at the very cold weather around Europe of the last few weeks and suggesting that this is disproving the notion that we are being affected by climate change. Their theory is that this is a sign that the planet is not really warming up. Sadly they are wrong.
It is not cold everywhere in the world at this time and, in fact, in North-east America, Canada, North Africa, the Mediterranean, and south-west Asia have all recently seen temperatures above normal. In some places this has been by more than 5 °C, and in parts of northern Canada, by more than 10 °C.
The immediate reason for the very cold weather in much of Europe at this time is that the air stream has been coming to us from the North. More usually it comes from the west in the winter and is warmed by the relatively warm Atlantic. (Typically this gives the UK milder winters than continental Europe.) For the last few weeks the Atlantic air movement has been ‘blocked’ and cold air has been flowing down from the Arctic or the cold winter landmass of Europe.
So what we are experiencing is part of the usual winter weather pattern (albeit it an unusually cold one) and it does not tell us anything about climate change.
The UK Met Office provides some further information here.
And please don't forget to put some extra food and some water out for the birds whilst the chill continues.