By Ian Dunt
Boris Johnson risked ridicule today when he claimed the snow in Britain suggested we could entering a mini-ice age.
In an argument which will raise questions about the London mayor's understanding of global warming, he suggested British winters were possible proof of lower solar activity.
"I am starting to think this series of winters is not a coincidence," he wrote in his weekly Telegraph column, for which he is paid £250,000 a year.
"By my calculations, this is now the fifth year in a row that we have had an unusual amount of snow. I don’t remember winters like this."
Johnson cited the cooling of the planet which took place between 1645 and 1715, when the Thames froze over, due to a diminution of solar activity.
The London mayor added: "I am speaking only as a layman who observes that there is plenty of snow in our winters these days, and who wonders whether it might be time for government to start taking seriously the possibility — however remote — that Corbyn [an astrophysicist warning of global cooling] is right."
The mayor's views would be vociferously opposed by climate scientists.
Nasa scientists say 2012 was the ninth warmest year since 1880, continuing a long-term trend of rising global temperatures.
Apart from 1998, the nine warmest years in the 132-year record all occurred since 2000, with 2010 and 2005 ranking as the warmest years on record.
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By Ian Dunt