Of course, we cannot say that the remarkable temperatures in Europe this week are the result of global warming. What we can say is that they correspond to the predictions made by climate scientists. As the met office reported on Sunday, 'all our models have suggested that this type of event will happen more frequently.' In December it predicted that, as a result of climate change, 2003 would be the warmest year on record. Two weeks ago its research centre reported that the temperature rises on every continent matched the predicted effects of climate change caused by human activities, and showed that natural impacts, such as sunspots or volcanic activity, could not account for them. Last month the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) announced that 'the increase in temperature in the 20th century is likely to have been the largest in any century during the past 1,000 years', while 'the trend since 1976 is roughly three times that for the whole period'. Climate change, the WMO suggests, provides an explanation not only for record temperatures in Europe and India but also for the frequency of tornadoes in the United States and the severity of the recent floods in Sri Lanka.
Once upon a time the rule for solving a whodunnit was: 'Cherchez la femme'. A friend of mine, more than half-seriously, proposed Colwell's Law of History: 'Cherchez l'argent'. If you apply that standard to climate change the absence of research findings against the global warming theory by independent sceintists becomes fairly disturbing.