Global warming = longer, colder winters

Global warming ‘will give Britain longer, colder winters’ as melting sea ice plays havoc with weather patterns

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 11:49 PM on 25th December 2010

Britain will be hit by longer and colder winters in coming years because of global warming, scientists have said.

Melting Arctic Sea ice has changed wind patterns in the northern hemisphere – bringing blasts of colder air across the UK.

Scientists believe the changes could be why we have been experiencing such a bitterly cold December.

Arctic conditions: A bus tries to make its way through Tunbridge Wells, Kent, as bad weather sweeps across the country
Arctic conditions: A bus tries to make its way through Tunbridge Wells, Kent, as bad weather sweeps across the country.

In future we are three times as likely to be hit by bitterly cold winter months because of the changing climate.

Vladimir Petoukhov, who conducted the study at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact in Germany, said the disappearing sea ice will have an unpredictable impact on the climate.

‘This is not what one would expect. Whoever thinks that the shrinking of some far away sea-ice won’t bother him could be wrong,’ he said.

‘There are complex interconnections in the climate system, and in the Barents-Kara Sea we have discovered a powerful feedback mechanism.

‘Our results imply that several recent severe winters do not conflict with the global warming picture but rather supplement it.’

Colder winters: Warming of the polar ice cap could give us regular freezing Decembers in the future

Rising temperatures in the Arctic – increasing at two to three times the global average – have peeled back the region’s floating ice cover by 20 percent over the last three decades.

As the Arctic ice cap has melted the heat from the relatively-warm seawater escapes into the colder atmosphere above, creating an area of high pressure.

That creates clockwise winds that sweep south over the UK and northern Europe.

The study was completed last year – before Britain was hit by a freezing winter and heavy snowfall.

Chilly: A car drives carefully in a blizzard in North Tyneside, as the current cold spell continues to grip the country. Scientists say we are three times as likely to have cold winters in the future

Above: A car drives carefully in a blizzard in North Tyneside, as the current cold spell continues to grip the country. Scientists say we are three times as likely to have cold winters in the future.

Scientists said it was too early to say if the freezing conditions this year and last year were caused by changes in the Arctic.

But as the ice continues to melt, Britain will begin to have warmer than average winters – but not for another half a century.

Stefan Rahmstorf, professor of physics of the ocean at the Potsdam Institute, said: ‘If you look ahead 40 or 50 years, these cold winters will be getting warmer because, even though you are getting an inflow of cold polar air, that air mass is getting warmer because of the greenhouse effect.

‘So it’s a transient phenomenon. In the long run, global warming wins out.’

The paper was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research last month.


About George Taylor

Climatologist, husband, father (3), grandfather (2)
This entry was posted in Climate, Climate Change and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Global warming = longer, colder winters

  1. rogerthesurf says:

    I think that we are in the grip of the biggest and most insane hoax in history, and unless the public get wise to it soon, we will all be parted from what wealth we have.

    Lets take a simple economic view of what is likely to happen.

    In the absence of sufficient alternative solutions/technologies, the only way western countries can ever attain the IPCC demands of CO2 emissions reduced to 40% below 1990 levels, (thats about 60% below todays) is to machine restrictions on the use of fossil fuels. Emission Trading schemes are an example.

    As the use of fossil fuels is roughly linear with anthropogenic CO2 emissions, to attain a 60% reduction of emissions , means about the same proportion of reduction of fossil fuel usage, including petrol, diesel, heating oil, not to mention coal and other types including propane etc.

    No matter how a restriction on the use of these is implemented, even a 10% decrease will make the price of petrol go sky high. In otherwords, (and petrol is just one example) we can expect, if the IPCC has its way, a price rise on petrol of greater than 500%.
    First of all, for all normal people, this will make the family car impossible to use. Worse than that though, the transport industry will also have to deal with this as well and they will need to pass the cost on to the consumer. Simple things like food will get prohibitively expensive. Manufacturers who need fossil energy to produce will either pass the cost on to the consumer or go out of business. If you live further than walking distance from work, you will be in trouble.
    All this leads to an economic crash of terrible proportions as unemployment rises and poverty spreads.
    I believe that this will be the effect of bowing to the IPCC and the AGW lobby. AND as AGW is a hoax it will be all in vain. The world will continue to do what it has always done while normal people starve and others at the top (including energy/oil companies and emission traders) will enjoy the high prices.

    Neither this scenario nor any analysis of the cost of CO2 emission reductions is included in IPCC literature, and the Stern report which claims economic expansion is simply not obeying economic logic as it is known in todays academic world.

    The fact that the emission reduction cost issue is not discussed, leads me to believe that there is a deliberate cover up of this issue. Fairly obviously the possibility of starvation will hardly appeal to the masses.

    AGW is baloney anyway!



  2. Ben (Beaverton - 775 ft.) says:

    I agree…total CRAP!!

  3. Michael Eklund says:

    I don’t think this article argues whether the warming is caused by humans or is a cycle of the planet. It seems obvoius that changes are occuring. Melting sea ice, melting glaciers, etc. Global warming is not a hoax. The argument lies in whether humans have a hand in contributing to it.

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