Czech Republic snowed under
Heavy snowfall paralyzed many parts of the Czech Republic on Sunday, closing Prague's Ruzyne Airport for over ten hours, restricting highways to one-lane traffic and cutting off mountain towns and villages. Many people claim this is the longest and harshest winter in half a century.
"This is due to climatic change which climatologists predicted twenty years ago. They said then that we should expect extremes during the winter, extremes during the summer and so on. And the weather on Sunday, especially in Prague and the northern Czech Republic, was fully in line with this forecast."
Does that mean that we should expect a similar patter in coming years - severe winters and hot summers?
So basically - we'll never know what to expect?
"That's right, we will not know what to expect in the coming season or next year. What we know is that climatic change is the result of solar activity, astronomical activity and human activity combined."
The economic losses caused by Sunday's heavy snow fall have yet to be assessed, but one negative aspect is clear. Road maintenance crews have already spent all of their allotted funds for 2006 on clearing away the snow and spreading salt on icy roads. When the snow finally melts it will reveal a lot of new potholes and no funds to patch them up with. One thing is obvious - climatic change is something we shall have to be prepared to deal with in the coming years. So far Czechs have pretty much resorted to their traditional weapon against bad weather: their sense of humour. Students have held a mock demonstration against it and Czech songwriter Jaromir Nohavica has written a song about his winter blues. Czechs are sending it to each other on their mobiles and its helping them feel just a tiny bit better.