Barometer

Are the Winter Olympics suffering the effects of climate change?

12 February 2022

9:00 AM

12 February 2022

9:00 AM

No snow

The pistes are covered with artificial snow and the hillsides are bare. Are the Winter Olympics a victim of climate change?

— Skiing events at the games are at Yanqing and Zhangjiakou, north-west of central Beijing. Both have arid climates where a remarkable proportion of rain falls in the summer. Yanqing averages just 10mm of rain between December and February, Zhangjiakou just 11mm. London averages 160mm in the same months. Temperatures in the Chinese resorts have been well below freezing this week. The real snow has not melted — it never fell in the first place.

Source: meteoblue.com

Jab done

What was your risk of dying of Covid, vaccinated or unvaccinated, between July and December last year? Units are deaths per 100,000 person-years and compared people who had received a second dose with those who have not had a first dose. Includes only deaths involving Covid-19.

After 2nd dose | Unvaccinated

18-39 | 2 | 12

40-49 | 8 | 63

50-59 | 21 | 205

60-69 | 64 | 500


70-79 | 180 | 1,009

80-89 | 510 | 2,468

90+ | 1,167 | 3,237

Source: ONS

Staying civil

Which government departments have the greatest number of senior civil servants?

Cabinet Office 950

Foreign and Commonwealth Office 550

HMRC 470

Public Health England (now defunct) 410

Ministry of Defence 290

Home Office 280

Department of Health and Social Care 260

Department for Work and Pensions 230

Department for Education 220

Defra 210

Department for Transport 200

Ancient pubs

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, outside St Albans, claimed to be the oldest surviving pub in England, closed after failing to recover from the pandemic. Some others which make the same claim: Old Ferry Boat Inn, Holywell, Cambridgeshire, claimed to date from 560 ad; Porch House, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, 947; Bingley Arms, Bardsey, West Yorkshire, 953; Royal Standard of England, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire (claims to be in Domesday Book, 1086, under a different name); Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, Nottingham, 1189.

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