Ramsey and district U3A


Our Chairman, (Jane Cusworth) welcomed everyone to the June meeting on a very wet afternoon. She had a special welcome to visitors, hoping that they would be interested in joining our U3A. The usual housekeeping notices were read out, with a reminder that tables and chairs in the foyer were reserved for those who were less able. The U3A are celebrating Volunteer Week, so special thanks to all our members for their support. Enid is looking for someone who can operate a ‘follow spot,’ and someone who can face paint, please contact Enid Hubbard.

Sign-up sheets for Felbrigg Hall on the 19th July and the Black Country museum are short of numbers, so sign up with your £10 deposit in the foyer. Places are still available for the Bruges trip, but the cut-off date is 15th July. The travel committee are meeting at the end of the month to have a look at trips and tours in the future.

David Cusworth then spoke of a metal detecting find on the old airfield at Warboys. Dave Gilbert-Hill had found a crotal bell, which is 300 years old.

The Groups co-ordinator is away, so Dave Gilbert-Hill read out the Group news for this month. The group display this month was from the Book Clubs, they are looking for more members. Sign-up sheets are available in the foyer for Canasta players and Petanque will take place at the ‘Five All’s,’ Benwick, weather permitting. A swap shop for Jigsaws was suggested and a show of hands was enough to take this forward.

Jane then introduced the speaker for this afternoon’s talk – Chris Bell – back by popular demand, his subject Global Warming. He thanked us for inviting him back, his previous talk was on storm chasing in the USA. A brief history of his universities in the USA and the UK and how he ended up, married to an English girl and now lives in Norwich followed. He works for ‘Weather Quest’ and lectures at the University of East Anglia (UEA), but hardly features on the TV weather forecasts these days.

Chris started his talk by telling us the difference between weather and climate – weather is the short-term condition, and climate has longer time scales, both past and future. He then went on to tell us about the global circulation of the atmosphere – the Sun is a constant source of energy, it produces solar radiation, which raises the surface temperature, but the levels are different depending where you are on the Earths’ surface. Atmospheric circulation attempts to level out the temperatures across the globe, but we still get extremes such as -86f at the South Pole and 119f in Phoenix.

Gasses in atmosphere allow short wave radiation to pass through but traps long wave radiation. This greenhouse effect is enhanced by water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and CFC’s, CFC’s were responsible for ozone holes above the poles. Venus has had runaway temperatures, greenhouse gasses with the concentration of CO2 is at 95% so the temperature is 462celsius throughout the planet.

CO2 levels are the greatest problem to our planet, the more CO2 there is, the more radiation is allowed through and less heat can escape. Sunspots also have an effect; as more radiation gets through. CO2 taken from ice core samples have shown that it has been interlinked with temperature for many millennia.  Does the Earths’ orbit affect our climate? – yes, do volcanoes? – yes, does Ozone? – yes, does aerosol? – yes, does deforestation? – yes, forests absorb CO2, greenhouse gasses? – YES.

Human factors are playing a huge part in an increasing CO2 levels, if these levels increase, we can then expect the icecaps to melt causing a sea level rise of 5 metres. This will affect East Anglia, the Low Countries, the Nile, Ganges, and Mekong, causing large populations to be displaced.

Jane then thanked Chris for a most interesting afternoon and we then had a question and answer session;

Deforestation? – plant more trees, which eats CO2.

India and China? – big CO2 producers, they are having the first taste of the good life, but the solution is obvious, cut down on pollutants and consider population control.

Single use plastic? – get rid of it, make changes to packaging.

Change energy production? – to wind and solar.

Animal feeds? – change so that less methane is produced.

Eating red meat? – in 100years, will be in the same league as smoking is today.

Melting glaciers? – money drives the economy, so the USA (President Trump) has disowned the Climate Treaty – a short sighted view.

Are we close to the tipping point? – we are not far away but need to chase reductions in CO2.

There were no more questions, so we broke for tea/coffee and biscuits.

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Next Meeting

The next general meeting will take place on Tuesday 9th July at the Community Centre, Stocking Fen Road, Ramsey, starting at 2.00pm. The subject for then will be “Mind Explorer,” by Dianne Simpson.

And Finally

Car Parking – Please remember to park your car considerately and use car sharing, if you are able.


Q: What happened after an explosion at a French cheese factory?

A: All that was left was de-brie.

Q: Why did the butcher work extra hours at the shop?

A: To make ends meat.

Mike Lewis