According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become "a very rare and exciting event".
"Children just aren't going to know what snow is," he said.
Professor Jarich Oosten, an anthropologist at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, says that even if we no longer see snow, it will remain culturally important.
"We don't really have wolves in Europe any more, but they are still an important part of our culture and everyone knows what they look like," he said.
David Parker, at the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in Berkshire, says ultimately, British children could have only virtual experience of snow. Via the internet, they might wonder at polar scenes - or eventually "feel" virtual cold.
Heavy snow will return occasionally, says Dr Viner, but when it does we will be unprepared. "We're really going to get caught out. Snow will probably cause chaos in 20 years time," he said.
Of course snow falling always has and always will cause chaos in Britain. Until it stops falling completely, which may now be a few years further away than was previously thought :-)
(for those who've been living in a cave for the last few years, or at least outside the UK, it appears that in fact reports of the demise of snowfall are greatly exaggerated, at least according to the winters of 2008, 2009 and 2010).
Actually, it's better than that, because the latest research is that all this snowfall is actually more proof of global warming after all! I await with amusement the reaction of the detection and attribution community to this proof that all their results are bogus, since they have already proved that the "warmer winters" are being caused by anthropogenic global warming (eg here, a paper I just saw today). Personally, while I accept it's theoretically possible for AGW to cause some localised cooling (at least on a temporary basis), my money is on the D&A results for the time being. Invest in Scottish skiing resorts (at least for the long term) at your peril...
(and as a footnote to the pedants, I know there doesn't necessarily have to be a contradiction between snowfall and warmth, but in fact this December has been not only snowy but also perhaps the coldest since records began in the UK).