Cold snap

Me in the office last Sunday

Me in the office last Sunday

The cold snap is over now. Pedalling into work early this morning, I saw that virtually all trace of the snow has gone. The kids will be sad (on Sunday we made it into the woods with the toboggan one last time). Work-wise, though, the prolonged cold period has posed some interesting technical problems. In all of our buildings there have been cold spots that the heating systems have had great difficulty in heating up. My own office was like a refrigerator when I came in last Sunday. In some cases, the local heating systems were broken or needed adjusting, but in others there is an underlying problem about the technical specifications for the general insulation of the building. I suspect that we have been living with a consequence of ‘global warming’, in the sense that those specifications were drawn up when we were going through a series of mild winters. Now – arguably as a consequence of global warming, with the probability of more extreme weather incidents – we can possibly look forward to similar prolonged cold snaps in the future. This particular cold snap therefore did us a favour. It helped us to identify all the little local problems and fix them, but it has also enabled us to see where more structural problems might be involved and hence to be better prepared for next time.

2 Comments

  1. daniel retureau

    14/01/2009 at 10:25

    there is a paradox here ; global warming and very cold winters are not opposed and can go hand in hand. In 3 centuries, when the Gulf Stream is maybe colder, we may have the kind of weather enjoyed by newyorkers (same level like Milano) in winter and sumer, a strong continental weather, and new needs for cooling and warming buildings…
    I simpy used this opportunity of posting a comment to wish you and your family a happy new year, and that your new job will be interesting and rewarding despite the complexities of our euro-life-work,
    Yours sincerely,
    daniel

  2. marie-hélène

    14/01/2009 at 12:39

    martin,
    this is not exactly a reaction to this blog entry, but rather a way to send you a note to say thanks for your great blog/ ; )
    And last but not least of course, my sincere wishes of good health and plenty more fun for 2009
    marie-hélène

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