Notices

London Fogs -- are they extinct?

Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 11:22 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 764
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
London Fogs -- are they extinct?

Mention was made on the radio here this morning that today is the anniversary of a notable four-day fog in London. The comment was made, however, that these pea soupers (of the, " I was walking down the street and could just make out a light coming towards me. Then I realised that it was the end of my cigarette", variety ) no longer occur. Is that correct? If so, where have all the old fogs gone? ("Eton" is not the answer, I'm sure). Is this a result of climate change, environmental management or other influence, or a combination of these factors?
Rob.
kiwi_rob is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 11:24 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,310
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, for the most part they dont exist. Mostly because we dont have coal fires anymore...so less of that type of pollution.
jamikins is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 11:26 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 67,024
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 1 Post
"If so, where have all the old fogs gone?"

Mostly the way of coal fires I think.
janisj is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 11:27 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 67,024
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 1 Post
- we were posting at the same time . . .
janisj is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 11:28 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,310
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Once again janisj...great minds think alike
jamikins is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 11:34 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 67,024
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 1 Post
And if I hadn't been messing w/ the italics (which I totally screwed up) I would have beat you to it

janisj is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 11:43 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,310
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yeah that fancy stuff will slow you up every time hahaha
jamikins is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 11:54 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 764
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks. Christchurch (NZ) had a bad reputation for smog on cold nights, but that has largely disappeared for the same reason. Solid fuels can still be used here, but only in an approved clean-burning appliance.
Rob.
kiwi_rob is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 12:23 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,582
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I was in London in early 2004 (January) and it was foggy for a couple of days, but not "thick, pea soup" type of fog. You COULD see your hand at the end of your arm!

BC
bookchick is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 12:31 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,384
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In response to the Great Smog of 1952, the British Parliament introduced the Clean Air Act 1956. This act legislated for zones where smokeless fuels had to be burnt and relocated power stations to rural areas. The Clean Air Act 1968 introduced the use of tall chimneys to disperse air pollution for industries burning coal, liquid or gaseous fuels.

From wiki entry.
Alec is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 12:35 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19,881
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
London FOG in 2007

http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/200...12_800x490.jpg
alanRow is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 01:03 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 764
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I suppose that FOG, being a natural phenomenon, can still occur, regardless of the Clean Air Act and other measures. They could only have ameliorated the problem of SMOG.
Rob.
kiwi_rob is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 01:04 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,582
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Rob, exactly right IMVHO.

BC
bookchick is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 01:04 PM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 764
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I meant to say, that is a graphic photo, Alan.
kiwi_rob is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 01:26 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,827
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The stone building on Whitehall are actually white now that the thick, pea soup 'fog' is long gone. It wasn't so 40 years ago.
Robert2533 is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 01:49 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,249
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's a trick question.

In the 19th century, the Dickensian pea-soupers were called fog. They were slightly different from 20th century smog, because there was far more industry in London, so the emissions trapped by cold air consisted of all kinds of multicoloured nasties: smoke from coal was a relatively small part of what was spewed out. The resultant fog - as the Victorians called it - often had a greeny, yellowy tinge.

London stopped having production processes that belched all this muck out the early 20th century. Instead, it just had emission from coal and vehicle fuels, which produced a grey-y fog that got christened smog. As others have said, smog's been outlawed.

London itself isn't particularly prone to natural fog, though as with anywhere on a river it can happen from time to time. It's much more common, especially in November and Feb, upstream in the Thames Valley, and in an area in the north of England called the Vale of York.

Nonetheless, even natural fog seems much rarer now than 25 years ago. I THINK that's because average temps are creeping up: sun seems to burn fog off much more quickly now than in the 1980s. Typically, it's a problem for a couple of hours after dawn, and seems to go away faster the higher the day's temps get.
flanneruk is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 02:36 PM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 764
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks, flanneruk. No trick intended, but the fact that fog is less of an event now just aroused my curiousity as to why. Obviously, the extreme conditions of earlier years were a combination of fog and pollution, but I had assumed that fog was the main ingredient. It is interesting to note that natural fog is now rarer and is not really regarded as an issue in London.
Rob.
kiwi_rob is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 05:11 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,989
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Flanneruk, thanks for the explanation. Makes sense. But I love those Shelock Holmes stories when he and his faithful Watson were mucking about in the fog, solving their criminal cases.
latedaytraveler is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 07:14 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,458
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I vividly remember a teacher's recollection of London in the great fog of 1952.
She and her husband had opened a window to get a bit of fresh air, as the fire made the room rather close.
Presently, she realized that her husband, seated on the sofa opposite, was disappearing from her view.
Now THAT's scary.
tedgale is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 10:34 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19,881
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There's also sea fog (haar) which can hang around for days at a time but may only extend a few hundred yards inland - so you have glorious sunshine at your hotel but find zero visibility 5 minutes walk away.
alanRow is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO