Wednesday, 8 February 2012

What the weather did...

Over the previous 2 years th UK got a serious taste of a continental winter  weather system – Weeks of subzero temperatures, falling at night to double minus digits on a regular basis, and snow falls of up to a foot and more at a time. The sheer weight of the snow affected not only conservatory roofs,but our oldest and largest trees, snapping off big radial limbs under tonnes of accumulated snow.

Whilst winter 2011 – 2012 has been generally quite mild, we have had to endure high winds. On 2 occasions these were strong enough to cause structural damage, and specifically in central Scotland. Whilst much has been reported of roofs being ripped off, chimneys toppling and the dangers associated with flying soup cans (Remember the lorry that went over and shed it’s load of tinned soup on the M9  before Christmas?) I haven’t seen any reports on how the windstorms affected our woodlands. So here is my mini photo blog showing “What the weather did” to Falkirk in January 2012.

Feel free to send in your own photos of the destructive power of our weather, or indeed any Environmentally led topic, and I’ll post up the best!

 The Oak pictured above appears to have a very shallow root system - Disease perhaps?

You can see in the backgound of the above shot that a lot of trees have gone over and become tangled up in the branches of their neighbours.

The Callendar forest is littered with big limbs snapped off of old oaks and sycamores, due to either winds or previous years snowfall

This Beech has obviously taken a beating over consecutive years.

What is amazing is that only a relative few trees were damaged, with many remaining unaffected

A side view of the previous shot

There is a bench in amongst the branches of this broken limb, which survived unscathed!

The question is this - are these extreme weather events a completely natural part of Scotlands weather cycles, or are they driven by global warming. If the latter is the case then extreme weather is not only here to stay, but will possibly escalate year on year.

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