Sunday night and it was time for the green doomster to send the children to bed with tears in their eyes with his improbable and unprovable tales of climate Armageddon. This week, Sir David Attenborough suggested that climate change was making “hugely destructive” snow avalanches “more and more unpredictable”. There is of course no way to prove such vague speculation, and curiously missing was any mention that recent snow avalanches have been falling in number across both the North American Rockies and the European Alps.
Filming Frozen Planet II in the Canadian Rockies, Attenborough prefaced his climate change claims with spectacular footage captured by a racing drone of an avalanche tumbling down a mountain at over 100mph. Cue up-tempo, stirring music as Sir David explained that in just two minutes, up to one million tonnes of snow hurtle down the mountainside. Of course, slides of any nature, snow or rock, can be unpredictable and have the potential to be hugely destructive. The climate has a part to play in such natural events, but to blame it all on humans burning fossil fuel is unprovable and beyond any credible scientific investigation. It is just Sir David’s scripted opinion, and it is aired to promote a command-and-control Net Zero agenda. As Sir David executive producer Mark Brownlow recently admitted: “Environmental storytelling is much more engrained in this series.”
Back in the scientific world, five geologists working out of the Snow and Avalanche Lab at Montana State University, reported last year that they had found a decline of 14% in large magnitude avalanche probability from 1950-2017 in the U.S. northern Rocky mountains. This was noted to equate to a 2% reduction each decade. Unsurprisingly, the scientists said that large magnitude avalanche years were characterised by stormy winters and large snowfalls. If climate change is reducing snow at higher levels, it is reasonable to assume that avalanche activity becomes a little more predictable, not less.