IT IS hard to avoid concluding that someone is trying to tell us something.

Just as the latest talks aimed at combating climate change begin in Qatar, the heavens open and once more, only three months after the last period of intense rainfall and extensive flooding.

Clearly these are no longer freak events, something we can expect to happen once in a blue moon. On the contrary, this is the new normal.

Unfortunately the danger is that this won’t be normal for long, for with the emission of greenhouse gasses world-wide still rising and current projections suggesting that the world is heading for 6C degrees of warming when the scientist say that nothing above 2C is safe, prolonged periods of rainfall leading to widespread flooding (together with other extreme weather events) may be even more frequent in the future.

Only a firm commitment from the representatives of the world’s leading polluting countries to ambitious and legally binding emission targets can prevent such a frightening scenario becoming reality.

If anything less than this is the outcome of the UN Climate Change Conference in Doha, then what we have experienced over the past three months could be merely a taster of what’s to come.

Colin Campbell Fulford, York.