Like it or not, it will soon be time to start placing bets for a white Christmas. If most climatologists are to be believed you are almost certainly throwing your money away.
The onward march of global warming is consigning such traditional Christmas card scenes to history. No more deep and crisp and even winters for Britain, replaced instead by damp and slush and stormy.
But, if a small group of maverick scientists are right, the chances of Yuletide snow may rise dramatically over the coming decades.
The difference of opinion hinges on what role — if any — the Sun plays in climate change. The vast majority of climate scientists maintain that the solar influence is limited or even negligible, and it is the unsustainable growth of industrialised nations that is driving the climate into chaos. The mavericks contend that the Sun’s activity dwarfs the human contribution, and that there is nothing we can do except wait for the Sun to change.