This news came as the skiinfo.com website was reporting "It's snowing all over the world". Snow was still falling in the Alps after a record winter, while in the southern hemisphere the skiing season was starting "five weeks early".
Meanwhile, up in the Arctic, after yet another delay for bad weather, the hapless Catlin trio, sponsored by an insurance firm which hopes to make money out of alarm over global warming, continue their painful progress towards the distant North Pole, measuring the ice with an old tape measure and assuring Prince Charles by satellite telephone that it is "thinner than expected".
When the trio heard a passing aircraft, which they hoped was bringing much-needed supplies, they little realised it was a DC-3 carrying an international team of scientists, using the latest electro-magnetic induction equipment to discover rather more efficiently that the ice was in fact "twice as thick" as they had expected.
A last symbolic drama was the fate of another three-man expedition aiming to publicise the effects of climate change. Followed by schools across Britain, they were aiming to reach Greenland in a "carbon-free" boat powered only by wind and the sun. Last week, after running into appalling weather, they were rescued by – it had to be – a US oil tanker. I wonder whether the schoolchildren were told.