The Spectator

Barometer: Storm waves? It could be three times worse

Plus: Who goes to A&E, and how much pollution is really stopped by driving at 60mph

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The test of a wave

Waves measuring 27ft from peak to trough were seen off Land’s End as the stormy weather continued. How do these compare with the highest waves ever measured?

— Waves of 67ft were measured by a buoy off the coast of Donegal in December 2011, the highest found around the British Isles.

— The highest wave yet recorded during a storm was one of 91ft during Hurricane Ivan in August 2005.

— A landslip in Lituya Bay, Alaska, on 9 July 1958 created a local tsunami which tore down trees 200ft above sea level. Water directly opposite the landslip site splashed to a height of 1,720ft, tearing down trees even at that height.

Comparison shopping

Retailers have begun to publish their sales figures for the pre-Christmas period. Where are we spending more, and where less?

Type of shop

Annual change in spending to end of November

Predominantly food

+2.9%

Household goods

-3%

Petrol stations

-4%

Internet and mail order

+14.1%

Source: ONS

The young and the reckless

Some patients are turning up at Accident and Emergency 50 times a year, it was revealed. Who attends A&E?

Age group

% of A&E visitors

0–9

14%

10–19

13%

20–29

16%

30–39

12%

40–49

12%

50–59

9%

60–69

8%

70–79

7%

80+

8%

Age unrecorded

1%

51% were male, 48% female, with 1% whose sex went unrecorded

Source: Health and Social Care Information Centre

Quick and dirty

A stretch of the M1 near Rotherham is to have a 60mph speed limit to cut pollution. How much more pollution does a car emit at 110kph (69mph) than 100kph (62mph)?

PETROL CAR

Carbon monoxide

+40%

Hydrocarbons

+11%

Nitrous oxides

-5%

DIESEL CAR

Carbon monoxide

-7%

Hydrocarbons

-2%

Nitrous oxides

+20%

PM (soot) particles

+7%

Source: European Environment Agency