Thursday, June 20, 2013

Britain 'faces decade of bad weather'

Terra Daily via AFP: Britain was set to enjoy its hottest day of the year so far on Wednesday but woke up to the gloomy news that it could be in the middle of a decade-long bad weather cycle. National weather and climate experts met on Tuesday to discuss Europe's run of unusually wet and cold conditions, and were told the cause could be Atlantic currents that move in cycles of 10 years or more.

Climate change is likely also a factor, scientists at the meeting said. "The workshop heard new evidence from the University of Reading suggesting that long-term Atlantic currents may be playing an important role," said a statement from national weather service the Met Office.

"These are understood to operate on cycles of a decade or more, which suggests that we may see their influence on our summers for a few more years to come." The currents could be influencing the position of the jet stream, a ribbon of very strong winds over the Atlantic which in turn affects weather patterns in Britain and its European neighbours.

But the bad weather might also be affected by declining Arctic ice, solar variations and long-term ocean cycles, the Met Office said. It sought to soften the blow by adding: "It doesn't rule out the possibility of decent summers over the next few years."...

A gloomy day in Gateshead, on Carr Hill Road, shot by C Baldwin, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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